Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd: 'I want to make sure public can rely on Watford crime stats'

Watford Observer: (L-R) Lynette Hill, a chaplain for the Women of Watford, David Lloyd, Richard Chewter from the Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy and Sgt Simon Mason from the Watford Safer Neighbourhood Team. (L-R) Lynette Hill, a chaplain for the Women of Watford, David Lloyd, Richard Chewter from the Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy and Sgt Simon Mason from the Watford Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Hertfordshire’s crime commissioner has said he wants the county’s chief constable to look more thoroughly at Watford’s crime figures to ensure the public can rely on the constabulary’s statistics.

David Lloyd’s comments come after he visited Watford on Friday to see how crime prevention services, such as Safer Clubbing at Night (Scan) Network, is being used in the town centre.

Mr Lloyd said the amount of crime being reported is decreasing and systems are being put in place to reduce the amount of crime taking place.

He said: "Crime is down significantly year on year. We continue to have amazingly low levels of crime and that is remarkable for a town like Watford, which is a vibrant town so close to North London.

"If you compared the crime to over the border in Harrow, people would give their eye teeth to live in Watford because crime is so low here."

Scan Net has been installed at some of the bars and nightclubs in the town to identify and keep records of who is on their premises.

Mr Lloyd added: "The system is a great way of ensuring that, when people come to Watford, they can go into a pub or club and know they are going to be safe because they know that everyone’s identity is in logged."

While reports of crimes such as violent sexual offences have decreased in the past six months compared to the same period during the previous year, the way in which crime figures are presented has also been amended.

Up to and including April 2013 reports of public order and possession of an offensive weapon were grouped together under the same category, with figures ranging between one and four crimes reported each month.

During the same period, between 40 and 61 violent crimes were logged each month.

However, from May 2013 onwards, public order offences and possession of a weapon were classified separately.

From that point on, reports of violent crimes began to drop, fluctuating between 31 and 42 reports while public order offences rose.

When asked whether the public can have faith in the town’s crime figures, Mr Lloyd said he has asked Hertfordshire’s chief constable, Andy Bliss, to "do some extra work" in making sure the statistics are a fair representation of what’s going on in Watford.

Mr Lloyd said: "I rely on the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to look at crime figures and HMIC have said that you can rely on them but I have asked the chief constable to do some extra work.

"I want to make sure we can rely on them and I think we can but I want to make sure that we’ve been round that loop again just to check."

Comments (8)

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5:57pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Cuetip says...

The stats game has been so abused that far too many in society have become a doubting Thomas.

I often wander if you reduce the number of visible police officers on the ground, you reduce the chances of crime being reported and is there any truth that the number unformed police at morning briefings has plummeted to as low 6 even on weekends.

It's a bit like the more buses, the more chance they will be used.
The stats game has been so abused that far too many in society have become a doubting Thomas. I often wander if you reduce the number of visible police officers on the ground, you reduce the chances of crime being reported and is there any truth that the number unformed police at morning briefings has plummeted to as low 6 even on weekends. It's a bit like the more buses, the more chance they will be used. Cuetip

6:34pm Tue 14 Jan 14

HornetJJ says...

All you need to do is compare the headline stories between the Watford Observer to the Harrow Times and you will see the difference. Watford is a much safer and nicer place than Harrow. The stats maybe be inaccurate but they're inaccurate everywhere not just Watford.
All you need to do is compare the headline stories between the Watford Observer to the Harrow Times and you will see the difference. Watford is a much safer and nicer place than Harrow. The stats maybe be inaccurate but they're inaccurate everywhere not just Watford. HornetJJ

9:37pm Tue 14 Jan 14

LSC says...

"If you compared the crime to over the border in Harrow, people would give their eye teeth to live in Watford because crime is so low here."

So what? I expect Harrow looks lovely in comparison if you live in downtown Detroit or Johannesburg. That is missing the point. The question is not 'are we better off than them?', the question is 'are we good enough for us?'.
If I was a serial killer with 49 victims, and other local serial killers had all killed over 50, should I be smug as a better person than them?
A typical politician argument and the public are wise to them now. DO something about crime Mr Lloyd or resign; the phrase 'You've never had it so good' to a population that knows otherwise has been tried, and failed, before.
"If you compared the crime to over the border in Harrow, people would give their eye teeth to live in Watford because crime is so low here." So what? I expect Harrow looks lovely in comparison if you live in downtown Detroit or Johannesburg. That is missing the point. The question is not 'are we better off than them?', the question is 'are we good enough for us?'. If I was a serial killer with 49 victims, and other local serial killers had all killed over 50, should I be smug as a better person than them? A typical politician argument and the public are wise to them now. DO something about crime Mr Lloyd or resign; the phrase 'You've never had it so good' to a population that knows otherwise has been tried, and failed, before. LSC

1:04am Wed 15 Jan 14

Honest Rog says...

The headline says it all: "I want to make sure public can rely upon Watford crime stats".
Note the emphasis on "stats". A massive PR industry, publicly funded, has convinced itself that we taxpayers just need statistical evidence of our safety. These bloated bureaucrats just don't get it. Joe Public has no confidence in "stats" from the Ministry of Truth that we are safer cos their "stats" say so. Reality is that their figures may well be true in that reported crime is down but no allowance or recognition is given to the fact that much crime goes unreported because victims face a wall of obfuscation if they go to report crimes to their local nick. Assuming, that is, that they can find a nick that is actually open. This, coupled with pleas for the public to not call 999 for what they deem to be low level crime brings one to the inescapable conclusion that we are just an irritant that gets in the way of their cosy public funded lifestyle.
The headline says it all: "I want to make sure public can rely upon Watford crime stats". Note the emphasis on "stats". A massive PR industry, publicly funded, has convinced itself that we taxpayers just need statistical evidence of our safety. These bloated bureaucrats just don't get it. Joe Public has no confidence in "stats" from the Ministry of Truth that we are safer cos their "stats" say so. Reality is that their figures may well be true in that reported crime is down but no allowance or recognition is given to the fact that much crime goes unreported because victims face a wall of obfuscation if they go to report crimes to their local nick. Assuming, that is, that they can find a nick that is actually open. This, coupled with pleas for the public to not call 999 for what they deem to be low level crime brings one to the inescapable conclusion that we are just an irritant that gets in the way of their cosy public funded lifestyle. Honest Rog

8:24am Wed 15 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

You need a statistician to understand and explain the statistics, otherwise the statisticians and politicians may use the stats to paint a picture that is very far from the truth. We have seen too much manipulating and massaging of stats to be able to trust them now.

The government is a master of how to use statistics to paint a misleading picture.

It would be a brave politician who would report that statistically things have gotten worse on their watch. That's why we have statistics and different ways of measuring until we get the right picture.
You need a statistician to understand and explain the statistics, otherwise the statisticians and politicians may use the stats to paint a picture that is very far from the truth. We have seen too much manipulating and massaging of stats to be able to trust them now. The government is a master of how to use statistics to paint a misleading picture. It would be a brave politician who would report that statistically things have gotten worse on their watch. That's why we have statistics and different ways of measuring until we get the right picture. Phil Cox (UKIP)

9:50am Wed 15 Jan 14

Reader (R) says...

Mr Lloyd, something you might want to mull over:

"There are three types of lies.

"Lies, **** Lies, and Statistics"

Benjamin Disraeli
Mr Lloyd, something you might want to mull over: "There are three types of lies. "Lies, **** Lies, and Statistics" Benjamin Disraeli Reader (R)

2:44pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Harry Caine says...

May I suggest a quick read of the excellent Daryl Huff's "How to lie with statistics"?
May I suggest a quick read of the excellent Daryl Huff's "How to lie with statistics"? Harry Caine

9:15am Thu 16 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

http://www.dailymail
.co.uk/news/article-
2540003/Its-official
-Crime-numbers-NOT-t
rusted-statistics-wa
tchdog-strips-police
-data-seal-approval.
html

There may be a deliberate attempt to fiddle the figures for crimes. It doesn't look good for the Police I'm afraid. Is it better to look good or do good?

Make your own mind up.
http://www.dailymail .co.uk/news/article- 2540003/Its-official -Crime-numbers-NOT-t rusted-statistics-wa tchdog-strips-police -data-seal-approval. html There may be a deliberate attempt to fiddle the figures for crimes. It doesn't look good for the Police I'm afraid. Is it better to look good or do good? Make your own mind up. Phil Cox (UKIP)

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