The standard of Scottish Sun journalism is criminal
Recently the Scottish Government have been getting some good headlines for reducing overall crime. For the slow of thinking, they are able to say they have reduced crime by comparing crime figures now to crime figures in the past as the way crimes are recorded is standardised.
However, there is a report in the Scottish Sun today casting aspersions on the good news. Apparently things are a lot worse than the Scottish Government crime figures suggest.
This could be dynamite but I need more info.
I’m never leaving the flat again, it’s a warzone out there. How are these evil Nats managing to pull the wool over our eyes?
Suddenly I’m not as frightened. For what the report fails to mention is that the manipulative government rules mentioned are the rules detailed in The Scottish Crime Recording Standard. I found this out by using google which is more than could be said for Chris Musson, and I suspect most people who will read the story.
They were devised in 2004 under the Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition. They are standardised in order to make it easy to compare crime overtime.
Regardless of what you think of the practice of not recording certain crimes as violent, this is not a ploy by the current Scottish Government. If the majority of people feel strongly about changing the guidelines then we should do it.
That said, altering the rules would probably be counterproductive as it would make it more difficult to compare over time. It’s exactly because the rules are standardised that we can tell the Scottish Government have reduced crime. We can compare crime now to how it was when they took over.
Anyway, as Labour were in charge at the time the rules were created at least we won’t see the normal cheap point scoring political rent-a-gub quotes in this article.
Nope, OK, but the Lib Dem’s won’t stoop as low and they will at least take some responsibility for these rules being created on their watch.
Oh well, but a least the Tories, who have been accused on a number of occasions of misusing crime statistics won’t jump on this non story for political gain. What does Oliver daddy-got-me-a-job-in-parliament Mundell thing?
The article then peters out, filling space seeking the opinions of four random young people, none of whom seem to have been victims of crime but all of them sufficiently petrified.
Perhaps because they take the Sun at face value?
So, there you have it. The Scottish Government have reduced crime. We know this because in 2004 the rules for recording crime were standardised. The Sun, rightly or wrongly, have taken umbrage at what crimes are recorded as violent, so have written an article blaming the current government who were not responsible for the rules. The people on whose watch the rules were written join in criticising the current government for the rules.
I don’t know about you but I just put a fiver on Chris Musson winning Scottish journalist of the year.