Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Juking the stats

Last month, the government promised that its actions would be assessed against 10 key outcomes, including "a reduction in the number of assaults on children", and "a reduction in the crime rate". Now we learn how the Police are going to deliver those outcomes: by dropping domestic violence from the annual crime statistics:

Women's Refuge is meeting with police today over a decision to drop family violence figures from crime stats.

Police have told the refuge they're shifting focus to realign themselves with Australia and that family violence incidences will still be recorded - just not publicly.

Domestic violence is a significant area of crime which is growing (partly due to better awareness and reporting, and partly due to the government's recession). Not recording it publicly will mean a drop in recorded crime and in assaults on children, and voila!, target achieved. Of course, its fundamentally dishonest, not to mention sending a clear message that this sort of crime - which used to be a priority - "doesn't count". But pretty obviously, the police don't care about that. What they care about is keeping the Minister happy and their budget secure. And that means showing that crime is falling, regardless of the facts.

And then they wonder why so many people don't trust them...