I can believe it, for I didn't bother to report it to the police when my car window was smashed the other day.
As such, I don't know whether to be reassured or slightly apprehensive that I received a letter from the Met on Saturday morning; they were, they said, very sorry to note that I had been the victim of a vehicle crime. Well, thank you for that: although I do wonder whether the crime number indicated is for me personally, or whether it covers al of the vehicles on that road that we done over.
I can only assume that the police noted the plates of the vehicles that had obviously been broken into, and then looked up the registrations at the DVLA. In which case, one might have thought that they could spell out my whole name: it is not "Mr Mou"...
Still, Burning Our Money has more on the crime maps, and he has noticed something a little awry...
And in a spirit of thanks and celebration, we asked our man on the Hill to test drive it. Does it correspond to his perception of crime down his own particularly mean streets?
Straightway he was puzzled. On the Met's crime map, Primrose Hill is coloured blue, which means it's a "below average" crime area. But how could that possibly be? Below average crime for an area that's so scary the residents have to hire private security guards?
So he clicked the link to the underlying stats. And here's what he found (the first three columns relate to the 12 months to June 2008, and the second three to the 12 months to June 2007):
Now, can you by any chance spot the jump-off-the-page-and-smack-you-in-the-gob pattern?
Yes, correct. For both 2007 and 2008, his hood (Camden Town with Primrose Hill) had a much higher crime rate than both Camden generally, and the Met as a whole, FOR EVERY SINGLE CATEGORY OF CRIME. Every single one.
So... er... on what basis has the Met categorised the Hill as a below average crime area? And what must the above average crime areas be like?
Sheer blithering incompetence or outright lies?
Frankly, it makes little difference.
Indeed. Still, this kind of information is still a step in the right direction...