Advertisement

  1. National

Police 'massaging' crime stats

Police officers are routinely massaging crime statistics in order to improve their forces' performance figures, an influential committee of MPs has been told.

View all 4 updates ›

Police 'massaging crime statistics', MPs told

Police officers are routinely massaging crime statistics in order to improve their forces' performance figures, an influential committee of MPs has been told.

Serving and former police officers have told a hearing of the House of Commons Public Administration Committee about techniques including "cuffing", "nodding", "skewing" and "stitching" which he said officers use to make the figures look better.

Committee chairman Bernard Jenkin said he was "shocked that apparently such manipulation of police statistics could possibly happen on such a wide scale and become so institutionally prevalent".

Among those to speak to MPs was Metropolitan Police constable James Patrick, who is currently awaiting disciplinary proceedings. He said he became concerned after joining the force in 2009 and finding robberies being logged as "theft snatch" in order to get them "off the books".

The extent of this in the borough I was initially in was large," Pc Patrick told the committee. "They were showing in some reports... a 400% increase in street robberies.

"If you looked at the same reports a couple of days later, robberies would be static, but theft snatch would have increased by a large amount."

More top news