Posts Tagged ‘statistics’

Police in Norway and the (mis)reading of stats

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Today there was an article in the Norwegian newspaper VG on how many new police officers the various parties want to educate over the next few years. Since we have an upcoming election in September, the politicians is climbing over oneanother to promise more police, better care for the elderly, less taxes, better hospitals, cheap or free child care etc, all the things they think will win over more voters come elections.

When reading the article the Venstre politician Odd Einar Dørum stated that we need to educate more police to reach the goal of 2 police officers per 1000 capita in Norway. I wondered about his number for a moment, and decided to check its validity according to other statistical data.

According to Nationmaster.com and the criminal statistics there, we have already reached this goal. Norway resides as # 27 – indicating that we already have 2,42 police officers per 1000 persons.

The "best" regarding police vs. capita

The "best" regarding police vs. capita

When clicking on Norway in the stats you will find an overview of the police efficiency and how satisfied people are with the overall police service in Norway. Reading these numbers, the population seems to be very happy with the police, the way policing is done in Norway and how the politicians generally are running the police. See the image below for more info:

Good stats for the police, but are they true?

Good stats for the police, but are they true?

Anyone in Norway has noticed that the police in Norway has had a conflict with their employer over the last year, dramatically reducing efficiency, discovery and solving rates for crime and overall presence in society, and these stats (although old) seem odd. Was things really that different back then? If the goal of the number of police was reached in 2000, why make a big fuzz about educating more now?

A wise man one said: There are lies, damn lies and statistics. I have to agree, you can read these statistics any way you want. We rank very well on most, if not all of them, ban the Software piracy rate (29%) indicating that we are generally a safe and non criminal society. In many ways I think we are, but we are on a downward spiral in that respect, and I think its time to really do something about it. Educating more officers is fine, but the police need a huge increase in money and equipment to withstand the flood of crime coming to our shores shortly, especially from the eastern European states, now opening up through the EU cooperation and free travel within Europe.

Dear politicians, please think big when it comes to crime prevention!