How to spin crime statistics

The Home Office recently released figures on crime levels in the UK. (Excel spreadsheet link)

For the statistically challenged, here’s a guide on how to spin the statistics in your favour.

If reported crime numbers have decreased in your area and lower crime rates are good news for you, put out a press release welcoming the news that crime numbers have dropped.

Obviously, you’re doing a good job.

(Under no circumstances should you mention that it might mean that you’re so hopeless people have given up on reporting crime. Especially if statistics released at the same time from a survey of households in your region show an increase in people who report having been victims.)

Conversely, if reported crime numbers have unfortunately increased, you can find some tenuous link to a recent publicity exercise. Say that as a result of this, more people are reporting crime. Your strategy to get people to report crime more so that you can investigate more effectively is working.

Obviously, you’re doing a good job.

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