Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner – Police and Crime Statistics

Friday, October 12th, 2012. 3:32pm

Screenshot of Crime Statistics for Cambridge on Police.UK

Crime Statistics for Cambridge on Police.UK (Link to map)

In my view the number and severity of injuries caused by crimes and road incidents is a relatively solid statistic on which to assess police performance. If the number and severity of injuries related to for example pub and club drinking in a city centre is falling the police can be sure they’re having a real impact on people’s lives.

I would also like to see our police in Cambridgeshire recording the costs of crime, and reporting them to the courts, those setting local police priorities and the public.

All too often statistics produced by the police, are not useful for monitoring their performance or getting to grips with a problem. As an example local police priority setting meetings around the county are given statistics on violent crime which don’t distinguish between domestic violence and violence between strangers in public, despite the two requiring a different response from the police and wider public sector.

I think the level of reported crime is often a misleading statistic as if people don’t have confidence in the police, or even can’t easily get through to them to report a crime, that statistic can fall even if real crime levels are unchanged.

While the Police.UK website is popular, it doesn’t provide the information in enough detail or in a timely enough manner for people to really understand the nature of crimes they are interested in. I would like to see much greater openness and transparency from the police, including the publication of all incidents dealt with (minus personal information of course) so the public can see each morning what the police were doing the previous day. This would allow the public to make a more informed contribution to debates on policing and take action to prevent themselves becoming victims of crime.

I think the public ought be able to easily follow a case through from the report of an incident, to the courts or “disposal” by the police and through to sentencing.


I have published a summary of my views on what Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner ought do.

5 comments/updates on “Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner – Police and Crime Statistics

  1. Richard Taylor Article author

    Police and Crime Commissioner Bright is claiming to be providing some of what I proposed here via his “ALERT” system:

    I said:

    I would like to see much greater openness and transparency from the police, including the publication of all incidents dealt with (minus personal information of course) so the public can see each morning what the police were doing the previous day

    Commissioner Graham Bright has said neighbourhood watch will be able to:

    know the very next morning whether there’s been a burglary, whether there’s been some anti-social behaviour, a car stolen, or whatever the case may be, it’s there for them to see.

  2. Richard Taylor Article author

    I urged Cambridge’s North Area Committee on the 21st of November to obtain better information on which to base their police priority setting; particularly in relation to violent crime. I suggested obtaining information on crime related injuries and asking for mapped crime information:

    There was no support forthcoming from councillors; but this is something I will continue to press for.

    1. Richard Taylor Article author

      Cllr Pitt stated that where things were a city wide priority there was no need to prioritise them locally.

      This is at odds with what the local police sergeant has told the councillors in the past; he has told them that having a priority at any level helps him when bidding for resources to tackle issues raised.

      Cllr Kevin Price stated he would not set a priority on something he thought the police ought be doing anyway. In light of that it’s interesting he voted in favour of a priority of tackling drug dealing at the previous meeting.

      The Police and Crime Commissioner is expected to be attending the North Area Committee in February 2014.

      I think it would be good to ask him about the provision of information for councillors to base their prioritisation decisions on and to ask him what impact the priorities have, and how they interact with the city wide, and force wide priorities.

      Cllr Pitt suggested that he thought councillor set priorities only applied to the neighbourhood police (despite councillors, for example, having previously set priorities which have seen traffic policing come into the area overnight between calls to patrol). A good question for the commissioner would be to ask what extent we have local policing, and if both neighbourhood and other local police are affected by the councillor set priorities. The Commissioner pointed his constituents to a documentary on Cambridgeshire’s Special Constables, which featured North Cambridge; in that we saw officers responding from Peterborough to incidents in the area. When I was burgled in Arbury, the PC who responded initially came from well outside Cambridge (Swaston I think). The key question is do we have local policing, or is it just a pretence arranged for meetings such as the North Area Ctte.

      [A clear distinction between "local" and "neighbourhood" police has been drawn recently in relation to police TASER use in Cambridge. (The Chief Constable has claimed to have abolished the distinction between "response" and "neighbourhood" police)]

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