Thursday, January 31, 2008


Stockport's Falling Crime Rate not Necessarily Believed by Stopfordians

It is with a smidgeon of civic pride that I offer this post as it refers to my home town Stockport, administered by the 19th century pile pictured left. My pride, regular readers will know, does not extend to the cleanliness of its streets which are a disgrace, but it seems we must puff out our chests in respect of crime figures:

The police commander for Stockport has overseen one of the most dramatic reductions in crime of any borough in England and Wales over the past four years. Car theft is down 40%, burglary down 42% and life-threatening attacks down 29%.

How has he done this? 'active police-work' is the answer:

i) criminals are met at the prison gates and told they are being watched in case they aim to break the law again. In addition they are helped with housing, drugs and benefits:

We've had a number of prolific criminals who have simply stopped committing crime. One of the main reasons is we have sorted out their drug habit."

ii) Better links have been maintained with council services and other agencies like the probation service.

iii) Community support officers have reported problems and the full-time boys have sorted them out.

iv) Surprise visits to trouble spots are made at weekends and the police presence has been mightily increased throughout the borough.

However, I'm a bit sceptical about these results. Even well informed professionals refuse to believe crime is going down when car-jackings and armed robberies continue to provide the staple of what is discussed in the pubs and the around the dining tables. Well publicised crime is much more compelling than stories of dramatic crime reductions based on government statistics which are regarded with perennial suspicion by Stopfordians(as we are described) as well as everyone else.

Ah, Stockport! I had a gobble in a glory-hole at the back of a little pub just under the arches back in the '40s. Happy days.
So, we can't believe police statistics, we can't believe government statistics, rather, we should base our opinions of the police on what people say in the pubs and 'the' around the dining tables?

That's ridiculous. Surely a fine academic of Liverpool Hope University's Politics Department would have a better comment than this.

Perhaps you should think before you slur your hometown, which happens to be a very pleasant place to live and grow up.
Anon(why can't people have the courage to leave their names?)If you read the opening section of my post you'll see I am proud of the place where I live; but my point was that people are dubious re all official statistics and tend to be influenced more by banner headlines relating to the latest crime outrage.
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