Friday 24 October 2008

Nine out of ten stats...

Vernon Coaker had to do his first bit of ministerial fire-fighting after the national crime statistics went pear shaped yesterday.

Apparently there was a 22% rise in violent crime, but worse was that thirteen forces had been recording things wrong.

The Gedling MP, now Police Minister, batted off all the questions about the gaff being embarrassing and stuck limpet-like to the line - that the Government still had faith in crime stats.

But in the coming weeks any minister worth his salt would be knocking his officials’ heads together to sort the mess out.

The problem is while the Government may still have faith in crime stats, not many other people do anymore.

It's not just crime stats and it's not just Labour, all the parties over-use figures. Every day in the press gallery here we get flooded with them.

Once you scratch beneath the surface 90% of them fail to support the story the political party is trying to sell you.

The PR guys would do well to start trying to sell stories with human angles rather than statistical ones.

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