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Expert Comment: Crime drops on Merseyside

Police Wednesday 25 April 2012

Ian Marsh, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Social Work, Care and Justice at Liverpool Hope University.

'These figures are, of course, good news and in general terms demonstrate that a greater police presence and a swifter reaction to crimes such as criminal damage will lead to a reduction in criminal behaviour.

'It is also the case that criminal statistics only show recorded crime and there are many reasons why crimes are not recorded, most obviously  many, indeed most, crimes the police will never know about  (for instance,  each time a drug dealer sells drugs to a client, acts of violence that are not reported and so on).

'Furthermore, crimes might not be reported to the police for a variety of reasons, such as fear of reprisals, a feeling that nothing can be done about it or embarrassment.

'Also, the reason for the rise in crime figures for particular crimes, such as sex offences and theft as reported in the Liverpool Echo, might be due to a greater public  confidence in the police encouraging more victims to report crime – so that, ironically, a recorded  increase in particular offences can reflect the more successful  policing of those crimes.'

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