This morning I was invited onto Dave Monk’s Programme BBC Radio Essex at 10.10 a.m. to talk briefly about UKCrimeStats and crime in Essex compared to the rest of the country. I explained where we got the data from, what the ASB categories were, talked generally about crime data and put Essex in a national context.
I ran some reports looking at crime rate over the last 12 months for all 43 Police Forces. The combined ASB and crime rate per 1000 residents in Essex came in at 100.3547 which gave Essex a middle ranking range of 25 out of 43. Where there was real difference of course was in the breakdown – it had the 6th highest vehicle crime rate, the 11th highest robbery rate and 35th lowest ASB rate. If you’ll forgive the plug, you can get all of these with a login on our site which only costs £9.99 a month.
I came on straight after a spokesman from the Green Party who didn’t agree with elected PCCs and so announced that they would be not be putting up a candidate, not least because of the £5000 deposit per candidate. I have much sympathy with the latter point – £5000 is certainly too high and a barrier to entry. And yet, it is a flawed argument to say that because turnout will be low the solution is to revert to even less democracy with a committee of unelected officials. Nor is it somehow wrong that politicians get involved. There is nothing much more politically valuable than the democratic oversight of how resources are allocated to fight crime and to boot them out if people think they have not done a good enough job. It’s a bit short-sighted of the Green Party as well to be so dismissive of this when there is ample scope for research into the relationship between the pollution of neurotoxins and crime. Crime or the lack of it is quite intricately linked to the environment.
For all that, where I have found the elections thus far a disappointment is the absence of data in the debate by PCCs – and we will be doing something about this very soon.