In early February, I wrote here about the continuing and dramatic decline in violence and crime in the UK. Unsurprisingly, one of the most common responses below the line was incredulity. Several readers suggested the figures were declining because nobody bothered to report crime any more, not realising that the statistics were based on extensive crime survey research and not police figures. Some suggested that the national statistics must be masking concentrations of problems on deprived housing estates, where life gets ever more brutal. Yet others suggested conspiracies of data-fiddling or statistical jiggery-pokery. One commenter (whose blushes I shall spare) simply declared: "RUBBISH! Britain is worse than ever and soon will be even more."
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