The Theresa Effect
In the Independent today:
‘Knife crime has risen to the highest level since 2010 in England and Wales, new figures have revealed as police say stabbing investigations are being made harder by social media. In the year to June, more than 21,100 offences were dealt with by the criminal justice system, seeing perpetrators jailed, given community orders or cautioned. Statistics released by the Ministry of Justice showed around two thirds of offences are possession of a blade, followed by possession of an offensive weapon and threatening someone with a knife or offensive weapon.’
In the same period, funding cuts have led to the loss of more than 20 000 officers.
Police staffing in Scotland and England:
‘Scottish police officer numbers at lowest level in nine years. In the first three months of year, Police Scotland had the equivalent of 17,170 full time officers, according to Scottish Government statistics. The last time the number of officers was lower was in the first three months of 2009, when the total was 17,048.’
So, Scottish police staffing levels have fallen by 122. Is that worse than 20 000 in England, pr capita? Do we need a calculator?
‘Surges in knife and gun attacks drove an increase to 5.3 million crimes across England and Wales in the year to September 2017 – the largest rise since the introduction of a national recording regime in 2002. But in the same period, the number of police officers fell to 121,929, the lowest figure since comparable records began 22 years ago.’
These figures mean that Scotland has one police officer for every 314.5 people while England and Wales have one for every 470.8 people. One policeman in England and Wales is therefore responsible for 156.3 or 49.7%, more people, than his/her Scottish equivalent.
Knife Crime in Scotland:
‘The results so far have been dramatic. Between April 2006 and April 2011, 40 children and teenagers were killed in homicides involving a knife in Scotland; between 2011 and 2016, that figure fell to just eight.’
No one under the age of 20 in Scotland was killed with a sharp instrument in 2016/17.
Offensive weapon carrying in Scotland has been reduced by 64%.in the last ten years.
I name this the Theresa Effect, in England and the Reverse Theresa Effect, in Scotland.