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Friday, January 20, 2012

Rioting is 'airbrushed' from official crime statistics as most trouble-hit areas record a DROP in violent crime

The riots that left whole neighbourhoods up and down the country in a state of ruin last August were the worst civil disturbances for a generation.

But reading crime figures released yesterday, it is almost as if the five days of widespread looting and violence never took place.

Nearly half of the areas worst-affected by the riots saw crime fall during that month, according to Home Office statistics.

In Croydon, where a 144-year-old furniture shop was one of dozens of buildings burned to the ground and a photo of a woman jumping from a first-floor inferno became one of the defining images of the riots, police recorded just seven disorder offences.

The disparity comes down to the way officers recorded the avalanche of offences committed during the unrest.

Some forces classified hundreds of feral thugs rampaging through different streets in the same city as just one incident of public disorder.

Similarly, mass looting in which one person broke into a shop only to be followed by dozens more was recorded as a single offence. Read More