20th August 20161

The recent statistics relied upon by the Chief Commissioner to indicate Victoria Police are doing a good job are very interesting but there is more interesting data behind these headline numbers.

A dramatic increase in arrests should impact on the crime rate but with increased arrests over the last 5 years there has been an increase in crime not a decrease.

According to the Chief Commissioner there has been in a 30% increase on 5 years ago and 12% on last year.

It could be argued that this reflects poorly on the performance of Police 5 years ago and as recently as last year. But rather than reflect on the rank and file it reflects very poorly on the Command strategic philosophy.

If you thought, as many do, there are less police on the streets, the statistics support you. The substantial drop in detected disorderly offences coupled to the substantial gradual climb in the crime rate and reported public nuisance offences, and the dramatic drop in traffic offences detected says it all. If the police are not on the streets they cannot detect disorderly behaviours and they cannot detect traffic offences.

The headline number, as far as the community is concerned, is not the number of arrests but the crime rate, it is something we all have to live with, not the arrests.

As former Chief Commissioner Ken Lay was quoted as saying, “You can’t arrest your way out of the problem”, although made in the context of a specific crime category it is a statement equally relevant to the overall crime rate.