CARVING UP THE STATS

Written by admin
October 4th, 2018

There is a general perception throughout the Firm and indeed throughout the Country that knife crime has increased out of all proportion in the last 24 months.

Local and National papers and News websites are full of stories about stabbing, often between members of various teenage gangs. There is a sense that many muggings now involve not only a threat with but also a use of a knife.

Interesting then to see that this year’s knife crime statistics show that knife crime offences have risen to a level comparable to that recorded 8 years ago in 2010.

Of course, in 2010 there was clearly a sense that knife crime was a problem, but it certainly wasn’t getting the sort of attention that is now.

How is it then possible to equate the current knife crime phobia of the reality demonstrated by the statistics.

It seems clear that the truth of the matter here lies in the nature of the statistical recording. What amounts to a knife crime can be anything from the simply carrying of a knife in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse right through to the use of a knife to take the life of another. A far more relevant set of statistics might be there is a record of the use of knives in the commission of violent crime. The absence of statistics means that any projection here is no more than speculation, but there is a clear belief that if statistics were indeed focused on the use of knives in this way the 2018 figures would be stratospherically higher than those from 2010.

The weary use of statistics to bolster or justify yet another academic dissertation does nothing to help those of us dealing with the reality of crime on a day to day level. Sadly, its only statistics used in a meaningful way and drilled down to cut out as many variants as possible that they will even be of any use to policy and Law makers.

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Categories: Criminal Law

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