Herald wrong on prison population

January 2nd, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

New Zealand’s prison population continues to grow despite record-low crime rates and an ambitious Government strategy to cut reoffending.

The number of prisoners has grown steadily over the past 15 years at a rate well above New Zealand’s population growth.

Figures obtained under the Official Information Act show the National-led Government has slowed that trend, but the rate of imprisonment remains stubborn.

After a rare dip in the prison population in 2011/12, the total number of inmates rose again in the year to June 2013.

First of all, the latest stats are for September 2013 which has 8,474 prisoners compared to 8,597 in June. Not sure why one would not use the most recent stats. The stats are on the Corrections website – don’t need the OIA.

But even on June stats, the statement is wrong. June 2013 had 8,597 prisoners and June 2012 was 8,616. That is a small decrease, not a rise.

On the latest stats, we are 8,474 compared to 8,623 in Sep 2012.

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58 Responses to “Herald wrong on prison population”

  1. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Yet again the Herald shows itself to be “plonker HQ”.

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  2. marcw (251 comments) says:

    If they are in jail, they are not reoffending. QED. That’s a bit intellectual for Herald “skilled and trained staff” to comprehend I guess.

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  3. Souvlaki (45 comments) says:

    Hard to figure why standards are soooo poor?? Editorial direction or simply low IQ ? Do they not have any pride?

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  4. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    A stuff-up from the Herald, corrected by the blogosphere; it must be another day ending in d-a-y :P

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  5. Archer (210 comments) says:

    I think the Herald (and other msm) like to throw in the OIA part to make it seem like they are actually doing some form of investigate work. DPF’s example highlights that despite using the OIA they 1. Don’t actually know how to use it properly as they’ve used it when it is not necessary and presumably asked the wrong questions for the information they wanted 2. Are pretty thick regardless.

    Agree with the other commenters – the standards at the Herald are dismal.

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  6. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    If they are guilty then good stuff.

    The correct prison population is the the number of offenders across society.

    10 years ago we had the second highest crime rate in the western world. I would hope either our number of offenders decreased or our prison population increased from then.

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  7. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    The correct prison population is the the number of offenders across society.

    That is rubbish.

    Anyway, crime overall has been steadily reducing across the western world since the mid-1990s.

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  8. prinCamLot (12 comments) says:

    Is the Herald article not evident of Geoffrey Palmer’s assertion of poor journalistic investigation – taken from Kim Hill’s interview of Sir Geoffrey in 2013.

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  9. Joanne (177 comments) says:

    This is an example why I NEVER buy the Herald. I’ll read it quickly online, yawn, and carry on. It’s a waste of money only to have to dispose of it.

    Lazy journalism. Some of the commentators on radio, blogs like this and some news services are what I take note of.

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  10. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t manage somehow to incorporate the word ‘exclusive.’

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  11. MH (762 comments) says:

    now all we need is the official Police stat on actual crime reported and solved. I bet that would be a dismal stat. 6 months after car had been mindlessly vandalised (wing mirror $300 fitting and replacement-no insurance=) by a “known” looney the case was dropped even though witnessed by a young 8 yr old girl-no statement taken,and it was thought to be stressful on her memory to obtain a statement and have her in court-unreliable witness ? after that period of time. In the interim 3 months since the incident I had been told that the Police were too busy dealing with assaults to get around to my trouble-all the time we thought they were doing the hard yards or had at least obtained a fresh statement. had I known i would have done it. Not kept in the picture in the hope it would have dropped off the statistics…..I’m sure we can all give examples of such unsolved crime. At least I’ve learn’t what to do next time.

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  12. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    F E Smith (3,041 comments) says:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 2:11 pm
    The correct prison population is the the number of offenders across society.

    That is rubbish.

    Anyway, crime overall has been steadily reducing across the western world since the mid-1990s.

    I didn’t intend it to be taken as an absolute.

    If you need more clarity then the number of offenders of imprisonable offences where imprisonment is the appropriate sentence.

    Anyway, NZ still had the 2nd highest crime rate in the western world up until 2004 – there has not been a follow up victimisation survey to clarify patterns since.

    I would not expect our imprisonment rate to go down until our crime rate goes down.

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  13. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    MH – you’ve learned what to do next time? Please do tell, as in Western Australia the standard police response to having your car window smashed in a fruitless search for valuables is “well don’t lock your car doors then”. When asked what the point of reporting crime actually was, the response was “for our statistics”, no doubt being the statistics presented to gullible politicians to justify more power and more money.

    There has, however, been no shortage of staff to man speed cameras, often on both sides of the same road, during the “double demerits” holiday period.

    One day a Minister of Police somewhere in the Western World will stop seeing the police as a revenue stream for government and return it to its original and proper purpose – the prevention of crime through a visible presence on the streets (not sat in stationary cars eating pies) and its rapid and efficient detection and prosecution. One day…

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  14. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    MH (418 comments) says:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 2:31 pm
    now all we need is the official Police stat on actual crime reported and solved. I bet that would be a dismal stat.

    Also it would not be our crime rate.

    Number of cases reported or solved are very flawed statistics to be using.

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  15. prinCamLot (12 comments) says:

    If you have ever tried to report the crime of fraud to the police; the default position appears always to be ‘it’s a civil matter’. It’s only when you threaten them – the police – will they do anything about it. The attention seeking Graeme McCready et. al. have arisen because the police turn a blind eye. Somethings are too hard for them vis-a-vis John Banks and Trevor Mallard.

    The Crimes Act defines what fraud is; and in the police’s application of the Act, there is a across over into the area of civil disputes. This is why, at one level, one can easily argue that crime has come down insofar as saying ‘its not a criminal issue, its civil'; there is no crime so nothing to report so crime rates are falling.

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  16. MH (762 comments) says:

    what I learned was not to let it rest from the moment it happens-either you decide based on the sum of money involved to spend your own time tracking down the witness or (Privacy issues) culprit or write a letter to the Commissioner rather than go to the local police Stn and deal with the civilian watch house keeper or just give up.

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  17. prinCamLot (12 comments) says:

    You’re on the money, MH.

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  18. ZenTiger (435 comments) says:

    Does prison population include “home detention”?

    Seems like a lot of people get home detention for their crimes.

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  19. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Just another example of media slugs, masquerading as journalists, not having ability to research facts. It is rampant in both Fairfax and APN outlets, especially if they can see some point-scoring for their leftist mates in Labour/Greens.

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  20. Nostalgia-NZ (5,221 comments) says:

    The argument about what the police ‘don’t’ investigate is a red herring. Very little property crime would go unreported because of the need for it to be reported as part of the insurer’s demand. The same applies to civil rather than criminal offending, one is the police’s job the other isn’t. Police will never say that a person bouncing cheques, obtaining credit by fraud and so on is civil crime, but if it involves property dispute, quality of goods or services, business dispute where one partner has withdrawn funds and similar types of things they are not empowered to act. None of which is directly related to The Herald apparently struggling with imprisonment rate figures.

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  21. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    If you need more clarity then the number of offenders of imprisonable offences where imprisonment is the appropriate sentence.

    So the correct number of people in prison is the number of people who have been convicted of crimes worthy of imprisonment?  

    Have I got that right?

    Zentiger,

    Seems like a lot of people get home detention for their crimes.

    not as many as you might think.  From what I can see, the numbers of people serving home detention is about 20% of the number of those imprisoned at any one time, with the re-offending rate being slightly more than 1/3 of that of released prisoners.

    Someone else better able to mine the relevant departmental websites might be able to get more accurate figures, though.

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  22. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    NZ still had the 2nd highest crime rate in the western world up until 2004

    That is an interesting statistic; could you please give me a link so that I can read up on it?

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  23. Akaroa (558 comments) says:

    Above is some discussion about an alleged Police reluctance to take action in respect of some reports of theft or other crimes.

    Well, my advice to those feeling that their concerns are not receiving appropriate Police attention is to write to the Minister of Police.

    The way to frame the opening para of the letter is along the lines of ” “I was advised by colleagues to go to the Press about this matter but I felt you would wish to be aware of it first………” You can, if you like, add ‘reluctantly’ or ‘sadly’ depending on the circs.

    Alternately, one could write that: ‘A copy of this letter is being referred to the Editor of the Dominion/NZ Herald/ChCh Press etc.,

    The Minister being a politician and wary about the whims of voters/publicity etc., the chances are that some Ministerial attention or curiosity will then be focussed on the problem. Ministers hate seeing critical comment or letters in the Press about their department and, by that, about themselves, and most Ministries consequently have a set procedure to follow when receiving complaints from members of the voting public.

    I once had a position in a Government Ministry office where Parliamentary Questions were fielded. I can tell you they really get prompt, detailed and high-level attention. The drill and instructions to the plebians in the Ministry was: “Departmental response required by the Minister on one foolscap page not later than this time tomorrow”.

    Ya gotta know how to play their silly games!!

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  24. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    I have seen the claim of increasing prison population bandied around in the last few months. I suspect the penal reform people and VUW criminologists do not want to spoil a good story. Perhaps they have found some weird interpretation of the figures showing an increase.

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  25. greenjacket (467 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount: “10 years ago we had the second highest crime rate in the western world. ”

    Sonny:
    That is a meaningless claim, because there is no way to compare crime rates around the world.
    Police forces around the world record crime in different ways. Every state has different definitions of “crime” or “offences” – for example, the definition of “robbery” varies according to jurisdictions. Some states record only “serious offences” (i.e. FBI in US only records the four “worst” crimes, but there are still problems with States having their own interpretations of what those crimes actually are), but the definition varies. Some police forces record by principal recorded offence (i.e. if there is a theft/grievous assault they will only record the grievous assault if they believe one will lead to a prosecution), while others record by every reported offence (i.e in NZ the police would record both the robbery and the grievous assault as two offences if it is reported). This is one reason why sometimes people who don’t know any better say that NZ has a very high crime rate, without realising that NZ police record offences in a completely different way from other countries! And, of course, a high level of reported crime may by an indication of more effective policing or policing policy.

    So there is no way that you can say that NZ “had the second highest crime rate in the western world”.

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  26. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    Victimisation surveys greenjacket.

    Nothing to do with the police or their statistics.

    it does not measure reporting rates, or conviction rates, or law changes. It measures crime rates.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Crime_Victims_Survey

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  27. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    Criminal Victimisation in International Perspective: Key Findings from the 2004-2005 ICVS and EU ICS

    http://www.unicri.it/services/library_documentation/publications/icvs/publications/ICVS2004_05report.pdf

    Page 36 gives the broad overview

    NZ second only to UK & Ireland.

    NZ in top 3 worst for:

    Theft of a car
    Theft from a car
    Burglary with entry
    Assaults and threats

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  28. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    You appear to have a problem with definitions, Sonny.  From the article you link to:

    in which a random sample of the population is asked about their experiences with crime and victimisation

    which is not the same as crime rates.  Moreover, we are told that

    Attempts to use the data from these national surveys for international comparison have failed. Differences in definitions of crime and other methodological differences are too big for proper comparison.

    So really it is a bit of a joke, based upon perception as much as anything else. Do you have anything else to back up your claim?

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  29. Paul Marsden (998 comments) says:

    The Herald just goes from bad to worse. And to think that I use to buy it everyday of my life for over 45 years, and advertised my business in it everyday for over 13 years. Shame on me!

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  30. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    NZ second only to UK & Ireland.

    Which would make us third, not second.  And I note that it is England & Wales, not the UK, followed by Ireland.  Northern Ireland and Scotland (both a part of the UK the last time that I looked) are listed separately.

    Crime surveys are prone to various response errors. For one, certain

    groups (e.g. the better educated) seem more inclined to remember and

    report incidents of minor violence (Lynch, 2006). Secondly, some people

    may fail to realise an incident is relevant, or may be reticent to talk about

    some incidents or those involving people they know to strangers. The

    ICVS will at any rate only measure crimes that respondents are prepared
    to reveal to interviewers.

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  31. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    F E Smith (3,043 comments) says:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 5:05 pm
    If you need more clarity then the number of offenders of imprisonable offences where imprisonment is the appropriate sentence.

    So the correct number of people in prison is the number of people who have been convicted of crimes worthy of imprisonment?

    Have I got that right?

    No you haven’t, but it is not worth pursuing.

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  32. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    F E Smith (3,045 comments) says:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 6:07 pm
    You appear to have a problem with definitions, Sonny. From the article you link to:

    in which a random sample of the population is asked about their experiences with crime and victimisation

    which is not the same as crime rates. Moreover, we are told that

    Attempts to use the data from these national surveys for international comparison have failed. Differences in definitions of crime and other methodological differences are too big for proper comparison.

    So really it is a bit of a joke, based upon perception as much as anything else. Do you have anything else to back up your claim?

    I am quite satisfied that the International Victimisation Surveys illustrate the point I was making.

    I think New Zealands crime rate is poor. Do you strongly disagree?

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  33. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    No you haven’t, but it is not worth pursuing.

    Of course it is!  Go on, enlighten me.  Or were you just talking gibberish? You know, like claiming that NZ being third in a survey actually makes us second in it?

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  34. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    I am quite satisfied that the International Victimisation Surveys illustrate the point I was making.

    I’m not.  And your point was wrong, anyway.  Perhaps not by much based upon the survey you used (and talk about cherry picking, eh?) but certainly not a good way to start.

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  35. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    I think New Zealands crime rate is poor. Do you strongly disagree?

    Yep.

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  36. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    F E Smith (3,048 comments) says:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 6:21 pm
    No you haven’t, but it is not worth pursuing.

    Of course it is! Go on, enlighten me. Or were you just talking gibberish? You know, like claiming that NZ being third in a survey actually makes us second in it?

    Take 3rd if you like.

    Combining England & Wales, and Ireland as UK is wrong when I notice Scotland & Ireland seperated out. It’s the assaults and threats table that lead me to combine them though. But I see Scotland further down the list on that one.

    I’m not especially fussed with 2nd or 3rd though.

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  37. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    F E Smith (3,048 comments) says:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 6:23 pm
    I think New Zealands crime rate is poor. Do you strongly disagree?

    Yep.

    I came across the International Victimisation Survey because I was curious and like most people I had the same doubts as greenjacket outlined above.

    I do not have a problem with being wrong. Please point me in the direction of some information that will tell me otherwise because you haven’t yet convinced me.

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  38. Johnboy (16,704 comments) says:

    I’m certain it’s long past time we introduced the Kim Jong Un solution to our increasing prison population! :)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/n-koreas-kim-says-purge-of-uncle-the-correct-decision/2013/12/31/dbae19b0-729a-11e3-9389-09ef9944065e_story.html

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  39. Johnboy (16,704 comments) says:

    A purge of the scum that inflate the paypackets of the legal eagles would of course have a a negative synergistic effect on the cost we all pay for legal aid for the shit and an equally negative synergistic effect on the influence of lawyers in general!

    Win, win,win I say! :)

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  40. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    F E Smith (3,048 comments) says:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Crime surveys are prone to various response errors. For one, certain

    groups (e.g. the better educated) seem more inclined to remember and

    report incidents of minor violence (Lynch, 2006). Secondly, some people

    may fail to realise an incident is relevant, or may be reticent to talk about

    some incidents or those involving people they know to strangers. The

    ICVS will at any rate only measure crimes that respondents are prepared
    to reveal to interviewers.

    It’s a social science survey. Pretty much everything done in this or similar fields is going to have similar caveats.

    The reason it was undertaken is because of the caveats that exist with the other forms of data in this field.

    I am sure it is not the perfect attempt at executing the principle behind it. I am sure it has constraints on its resources and is subject to political footballing.

    I’m sorry you seem so annoyed that I have read it.

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  41. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Please point me in the direction of some information that will tell me otherwise because you haven’t yet convinced me.

    I’m not trying to convince you of anything.  I am saying that I think that you are wrong.  And that you have a problem with accuracy.

    I’m sorry you seem so annoyed that I have read it.

    Gee, you really are one for playing the man and not the ball, aren’t you?  Your use of sarcasm is pitiful. I don’t care what you read, just like I care not a jot what you do ever and in any way.  

    However, I think that your misrepresentations of the findings of a study that we are told should not be used for international comparison isn’t a good start to making the sort of claim that you made.

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  42. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    A purge of the scum that inflate the paypackets of the legal eagles

    What have you got against banks and other corporates, johnboy?

    would of course have a a negative synergistic effect on the cost we all pay for legal aid

    So would abolishing the police, for that matter.

    and an equally negative synergistic effect on the influence of lawyers in general!

    I’m glad you think that the 5% of lawyers who practice criminal law have so much influence, johnboy.  Something for the other 95% of my colleagues to strive for!

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  43. Johnboy (16,704 comments) says:

    Good God FES! I would tend to keep it quiet that 95% of your friends spend their time ripping off simple folk on conveyancing and probating wills less the peasantry rise up against you! :)

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  44. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Somehow I don’t think that the bigger commercial firms do much residential conveyancing or probate, johnboy!

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  45. Johnboy (16,704 comments) says:

    They have obviously realised that there is much more cash to be made by ripping off bigger fish FES! :)

    Seriously we really need to start rolling back the influence of the greedy legal chaps in all of our daily dealings.

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  46. Johnboy (16,704 comments) says:

    Must be a lot of lawyers round here FES. Each time you comment to me I give you an upthumb just to test the waters! :)

    Each time I comment I get a downthumb or three! ! ! :) :) :)

    Fuck I luv KB and the some of the simpletons that inhabit it! :)

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  47. Johnboy (16,704 comments) says:

    You’ve reached 4 on your 7:08 and that was the one I started with! :) :)

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  48. Johnboy (16,704 comments) says:

    I’ll just say “Hello” to see if I get another minus! :)

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  49. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    It ain’t me, Johnboy! I swear I am not the down-thumb monster!!!

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  50. greenjacket (467 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount: “I am quite satisfied that the International Victimisation Surveys illustrate the point I was making.”

    It is a victimisation survey, in which there are massive problems with how people in a particular country will define themselves as “victims”, and is really just a survey of general crime “awareness”. (And I note that response rates for some countries is so low as to make comparisons ridiculous). Frankly, the survey is not worth the paper it is printed on (a good example of how these a very dodgy surveys is in Australia, where four different crime/victimisation surveys in the early 2000s produced radically different results!)
    For example, from your reading the survey suggests that Iceland (a country with strong social cohesion) is crime ridden, while some eastern European countries have lower crime rates. Do you believe that a country like Bulgaria has a lower crime rate than Iceland? Why does Scotland have such a low rate, yet across the border England and Wales are apparently almost twice as prevalence of crime?

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  51. Johnboy (16,704 comments) says:

    I know that old chap. You’re a fellow of much higher ideals. I’m just having bit of a JB jest! It’s all such fun here! :)

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  52. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    F E Smith (3,052 comments) says:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 7:05 pm
    Please point me in the direction of some information that will tell me otherwise because you haven’t yet convinced me.

    I’m not trying to convince you of anything. I am saying that I think that you are wrong.

    The only thing I have said here is that lower prison population is not is and of itself always a positive thing. It needs to be explained.

    You have not told me how this is wrong yet.

    I should have stated ICVS places us in 3rd worst at 2004.

    However, I think that your misrepresentations of the findings of a study that we are told should not be used for international comparison isn’t a good start to making the sort of claim that you made.

    Gee, you really are one for playing the man and not the ball, aren’t you? Your use of sarcasm is pitiful. I don’t care what you read, just like I care not a jot what you do ever and in any way.

    You were being a twat F E

    However, I think that your misrepresentations of the findings of a study … isn’t a good start to making the sort of claim that you made.

    Do fuck off.

    It makes more sense to me to group England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland together. But yes, you have taught me a lesson about not ruining my point by leaving myself open to such a response.

    My claim is rather trivial. I think NZ has a comparatively poor crime rate. At this point I still think this.

    that we are told should not be used for international comparison isn’t a good start to making the sort of claim that you made.

    You are using wikipedia entries as a rebuttal. Calling it a joke etc based on this is unconvincing.

    Those wikipedia edits need some explanation. They might have a point, but I do not yet think the data is rubbish.

    Again, the best thing to convince me otherwise will be to introduce some better data and explain why it is more useful.

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  53. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    For example, from your reading the survey suggests that Iceland (a country with strong social cohesion) is crime ridden, while some eastern European countries have lower crime rates. Do you believe that a country like Bulgaria has a lower crime rate than Iceland? Why does Scotland have such a low rate, yet across the border England and Wales are apparently almost twice as prevalence of crime?

    The fact that the data does not fit with your expectations is not a strong case against it.

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  54. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    I’ll just point out that the initial comment that I took issue with was

    The correct prison population is the the number of offenders across society.

    which is, quite frankly, bollocks, and thus far it is uncorrected bollocks other than you saying that 

    I didn’t intend it to be taken as an absolute.

    If you need more clarity then the number of offenders of imprisonable offences where imprisonment is the appropriate sentence.

    which is, quite honestly, even more bollocks.

    The fact that the data does not fit with your expectations is not a strong case against it.

    Except for the fact that greenjacket’s reasoning is pretty impeccable and your response is (not for the first time today) patronising and pointless.

    Do fuck off.

    See, there you go, playing the man and not the ball.  Nice one.

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  55. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    F E Smith (3,053 comments) says:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 9:13 pm
    I’ll just point out that the initial comment that I took issue with was

    The correct prison population is the the number of offenders across society.

    which is, quite frankly, bollocks, and thus far it is uncorrected bollocks other than you saying that

    I didn’t intend it to be taken as an absolute.

    If you need more clarity then the number of offenders of imprisonable offences where imprisonment is the appropriate sentence.

    which is, quite honestly, even more bollocks.

    That’s fine. I can see that it is a poorly worded statement.

    Here is another attempt: “If there are a lot of dangerous people around, then there should be a lot of people locked up”

    I think it is a fairly intuitive and trivial statement. What am I getting wrong?

    The fact that the data does not fit with your expectations is not a strong case against it.

    Except for the fact that greenjacket’s reasoning is pretty impeccable and your response is (not for the first time today) patronising and pointless.

    No, his reasoning is not convincing. If you read the methodology of the survey, the core questions about the 10 different crimes do not give the respondent room to define themselves as victims. They are simple yes, no answers such as:

    “Q35. Over the past five years have you or other members of your
    household had any of their cars/vans/trucks stolen? Please take
    your time to think about it.
    1 Yes
    2 No
    9 Don’t know”

    On response rates from the survey summary:

    “The average response rate for all the national surveys is 51%.”

    “Figure 1 shows that there is no statistically significant relation between
    the number of attempts needed to reach a respondent and the victimisations
    reported. Of those who were contacted at the first attempt, 15%
    reported one or more victimisations. Of those contacted after the seventh
    attempt or more 16% reported a victimisation. The results also hold for
    victimisation by different types of crime.”

    “As an additional global test of a possible systemic relationship between
    response and prevalence, leaving aside the distinction between refusals
    and non-contact, overall response rates in 28 national surveys available
    after the third sweep of the ICVS, were correlated with overall victimisation
    rates. There was no relation between the response rates and the overall
    victimisation rates (r=0.04; n=28) (Mayhew, Van Dijk, 1997).”

    “The ICVS is the most comprehensive instrument developed yet to monitor
    and study volume crimes, perception of crime and attitudes towards the
    criminal justice system in a comparative, international perspective. The
    data are from surveys amongst the general public and therefore not influenced
    by political or ideological agendas of governments of individual
    countries. Standardisation of questionnaires used and other aspects of
    data collection assure that data can, within confidence margins, be reliably
    compared across countries. Independent reviews have attested to the
    comparability of ICVS results (e.g. Lynch, 2006).”

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  56. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    The Herald makes the point that we’ve got the lowest crime rate in 24 years yet the prison population is static or increasing. The conclusion I’d draw is that the number of petty crimes may well be falling but the number of crimes punishable by incarceration isn’t. In other words, the rate of serious offending isn’t falling.

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  57. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    This article provides some figures re the drop in recorded crime.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/8497806/Recorded-crime-drops-around-country

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  58. prinCamLot (12 comments) says:

    I think the drop in crime has to be linked to good leadership – corny as this may sound. That leadership coming from Parliament aka a JK lead government. While the police catch cry is ‘its civil’ results in fewer complaints registered, 2014 will see fewer alcohol engineered crimes because of the new alcohol law now in place. Nonetheless, police will ‘cherry pick’ what they will regardless of what the Crimes Act says.

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