The old phrase of “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” was coined by Mark Twain to describe the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. I won’t be disingenuous and pretend that all political parties don’t select statistics that suit their narratives, because they do, but some parties stretch credibility and the truth to ridiculous limits.
I see this all the time here in Crawley from our main political opponents. A recent election leaflet from this party, the content of which was entirely about the Conservatives and nothing about them (which is telling in itself), stated that “Under the Conservatives, Crawley has lost 634 Police Officers and 160 PCSOs” which is of course totally absurd.
The reality is that since we’ve had a Conservative government, there’s been a net increase of seven police officers in Crawley and a net decrease of six PCSOs. Unlike others, I’m not going to mislead so I am quite open that unfortunately there has been a national decrease during this time, but this is being addressed by Boris Johnson’s government with a major recruitment of 20,000 additional police officers.
As well as increasing police numbers, the Conservative government are making it simpler for the police to use emergency stop and search powers to take knives off our streets. An urgent review of sentencing is taking place to ensure the public are properly protected from the most dangerous criminals, that will focus on violent and sexual offenders and consider longer sentences. The Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme is being extended so that more victims can appeal the sentences that offenders receive, and an extra 10,000 prison places are to be created to hold the additional offenders who will be caught.
All this will be welcomed by ordinary people but no doubt will be opposed by Labour, because that is what they do, protesting from the sidelines and blaming others for their own shortcomings. This includes the Labour Administration at Crawley Borough Council, who are weak on crime and anti-social behaviour and who seem happier criticising our local police instead of supporting them.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
25th September 2019