Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In Denial

Burglary league table

I was in the shower with a man from Nottingham Council a few mornings ago. He was very upset that his City had been unfairly tarnished as the violent crime capital of Britain. He was particularly upset at the statistical analysis published by Reform last year which proved it.

Lies, damned lies, wrong areas, apples and pears, media campaign, anyway that data refers to at least six weeks ago, firm action taken since then, things have got miles better, etc etc.

Fair enough, you might say, his job is to spin for Nottingham.

Except that he sounded like he really believed it. Which for someone actually involved in running the city would be very concerning.

Today we get another statistical crime survey, this time on burglary. And guess what. Once again, Nottingham comes out top.

And this survey is not put together by a Westminster think-tank, but by Endsleigh Insurance. They are simply reporting the frequency of claims for burglary over the last four years.

In the real world, step one in resolving a problem is to recognise that it actually exists. In government, both local and national, step one is to deny it.

PS The Endsleigh league table is doubly interesting for desperate housewives round our way, because while Nottingham comes out worst for crime, despite the best efforts of our non-response local cops, Guildford comes out best. It sure ain't going to help wisteria angst levels when Ollie and Becky announce they're off to the University of Nottingham Trent Yardie.

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