Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Conflicting results

Given this governments fondness for using statistics to promote their "success" it would seem that the latest data on knife crime is showing that new policies are having a positive effect.

The government's Tackling Knives Action Programme started last July in 10 police areas in England and Wales.

Robberies with sharp instruments against those aged 19 and under also fell by 13% while knife-related hospital admissions fell 32%, compared to 18% in non-TKAP areas.

That's good isn't it? OK - it's clear from those statistics that there is something not quite right with the TKAP programme if those areas failed to reduce knife crime as much as non-TKAP areas, but overall it is positive surely?

Not entirely.

In its first nine months, 126 people died after being attacked with a knife or other sharp object - seven more than in the same period the previous year.

Hmmm - so there are fewer knife offences, but more people dying from knife wounds? Something isn't quite right here. Perhaps the knife users are getting better at using their tool of choice or maybe the NHS is getting worse at treating knife wounds?

Or maybe the statistics are complete and utter rubbish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nothing will change until carrying a knife carries an appropriate penalty.

We can debate all day about whether removing the 'causes' of such crime with various social programmes works, but people are dying now.

One the methods found to be effective against the 30s / 40s Glasgow razor gangs was that the police were ready to target and arrest the troublemakers and a judge was willing to hand out 10 year + sentences for the carrying of razors, never mind use of.

The liberal 'progressive' society we live in cannot stomach such a response (after all, the perpetrators are actually victims now), but if you want to stop young people dying, then this type of action is necessary.

Maybe then, there would be a breathing space where social programmes might offer a longer term solution.

Ok, so it might cost us more, but i think this speaks to our societies values.

As i see it we're saying greed and avarice is worth spending money on (see the bankers bailout), but that peoples lives aren't worth very much (light sentences for murder etc, largely due to it costing us too much).