Police falsify crime stats | The Jackal

13 Jul 2014

Police falsify crime stats

There have been a number of instances over the last few years whereby the National government has been caught out doctoring statistics. They are in fact determined to pass themselves off as a successful administration by providing false information to the public in the hope that nobody will uncover the truth.

Unfortunately for them, honesty is an important quality voters will be looking for in any future New Zealand government. We don't generally like cheaters, especially when they fail to own up to their dishonesty after being caught red handed.

Today, the Herald on Sunday reported:

Police made burglaries vanish 
Statistics altered over three years to make 700 burglary offences appear as other crimes or not as crimes at all

Police altered official crime statistics to make hundreds of burglaries disappear, a Herald on Sunday investigation has found.

A damning report obtained by the newspaper reveals the burglaries were instead recorded as more minor crimes, or as incidents, which are not counted in crime statistics at all.

Five police staff, including then area commander Gary Hill, were sanctioned over the incident, and an "extremely disappointed" Police Minister, Anne Tolley, has moved to reassure the public this is an isolated incident.

Somehow I doubt this is an isolated incident. The Police wouldn't have doctored the states for any other reason but at the government's directive. That directive would have been made to all Police District Commanders.

About 700 burglaries were "recoded" in the Counties Manukau south area over three years, an internal police investigation has found. It found that about 70 per cent of the time, the offences should have remained burglaries.

That's a huge amount of miss reporting that will clearly have an effect on overall crime stats.

The revelations will be an embarrassment for Police Commissioner Mike Bush, who was district commander of the area at the time, although he was not responsible for overseeing the coding.

Police have not said why the statistics were altered, but say staff were not under instruction to do so. Tolley denied police were under political pressure to reduce burglary statistics.

An investigation began after the Independent Police Conduct Authority received three anonymous complaints alleging "corrupt management practices" in the region, which spans Papakura, Pukekohe, Drury and Waiuku.

Of course police haven't said exactly why they altered the statistics...they want to keep their jobs after all. The National party holds the very real threat over government departments and employees that they will lose their jobs and/or funding if they speak out. That type of bullying ensures that government departments tow the line and the status quo is maintained, even when it is failing.

We've heard numerous times from government MP's that crime statistics are reducing. But considering the Police's manipulation, how can we trust that such claims are true. The simple answer is that we cannot.

In any event Anne Tolley's verbal assurance that this is an isolated incident isn't enough to reassure the public that proper reporting is being undertaken.

There needs to be a full and in-depth inquiry into just how far the rot has spread…because without it the Minister's assurance means very little if anything at all.