Typical smears

Clinton Smith at The Standard responds to my post on the 11% increase in violent crime with what is really a nasty smearing post. I avoid responding to most of his stuff, as it reflects more on him than me. But as he basically calls me pro-rape, there is a limit. I’ll go through his post in turn:

David Farrar really is a disgusting person at times.

Yes how disgusting it is to point out violent increased 11% last year.

He writes that we shouldn’t look at overall crime rates (although he made a big fuss when the overall recorded crime rate went up because of changes in recording practice in 2006)

Smith is wrong. I have been making the point about violent crime, not overall crime rates, for years and years. To be precise:

  1. 3 March 2008
  2. 2 October 2007
  3. 2 April 2007
  4. 2 October 2006
  5. 4 April 2006
  6. 6 July 2004

Pretty much all of these said the same thing – the overall crime rate is not a very useful measure. I welcome people wanting to debate it is – but funnily enough few people ever engage that argument on the merits.

Instead we should just look at violent crime, after all “having 1,000 less [sic] cannabis crimes and 500 more rapes is a net decrease in crime, but would be a worrying trend”. He then goes on to act all shocked over the recorded violent crime stats. First, he’s trying to make you think there are more rapes

Yes that should be fewer. But I doubt anyone would read what I said as stating there were 500 more rapes. It was obviously an example given the round numbers used.

in fact, the number is down and he’s hardly one to fret about rape when he’s good mates with a pornographer).

Now I can not even describe how offensive Smith is with that statement. He basically says I don’t care about rape or rape victims. I can think of few things more defamatory let alone downright nasty to say about somebody. Next time Smith complains about the standards of a right wing blog, people should remember he considers accusing people of being unconcerned about rape as a legitimate tactic.

Smith deosn’t even try to debate the merits of violent crime stats vs total crime stats. He just decides to smear me. As I say that reflects far more on him than me.

Secondly, this professional statistician is deliberately trying to mislead you regarding the change in the crime stats. He knows that the explanation from the professionals is reporting of domestic crime is up but he hopes you don’t.

I am aware the provide excuses for why violent crime has gone up 11%, saying it is all due to increased reporting of domestic violence. However like all government agencies they of course try to put a favourable spin on the . Does Clinton attack Dr Cullen when he disagrees with Treasury advice? More to the point when you look at specific categories such as:

  • Homicides from 96 to 112 – 16.7% increase
  • Wounding with Intent from 635 to 697 – 9.8% increase
  • Injuring with Intent from 996 to 1,180 – 18.5% increase
  • Assault with a weapon from 2,738 to 3,007 – 9.8% increase
  • Assaults on Police from 367 to 439 – 19.6% increase

You realise the explanation is not that credible.

I submit that these groups of crimes are not ones that would be greatly affected by increased reporting of domestic violence. Wounding with intent is the most serious assault possible, short of attempted murder. Assaults with a weapon don’t tend to be the exclusive domain of domestic violence, let alone assaults on police. And homicides speak for themselves.

Crime is down because poverty and the conditions that breed crime have been reduced. At the same time, reporting of crimes is up. Thefts, car thefts, and burglaries (together, the largest group of crimes) have halved in the last ten years. Homicides are down.

  1. 98/99 – 94
  2. 99/00 – 104
  3. 00/01 – 97
  4. 01/02 – 112
  5. 02/03 – 108
  6. 03/04 – 100
  7. 04/05 – 80
  8. 05/06 – 105
  9. 06/07 – 96
  10. 07/08 – 112

That is the homicides for the last ten financial years. The latest year is the highest equal of the last ten. Note when I point out an error Clinton makes I don’t feel the need to call him disgusting and other names.

In fact, all classes of crime are down except two. Recorded violent crime is up because reporting is up. Recorded property damage offences have climbed in the last three years thanks to the moral panic over tagging. But those rises are attributed (not by me, by the Police) to higher reporting.

Recorded violent crime has increased almost 50% since 1999. Clinton attacks and smears anyone who points this out and dares to disagree with the assertion it is all because of increased reporting of domestioc violence.

Farrar needs to misrepresent the statistics to create the impression of a wave of crime where there is none. It’s all part of National’s ‘New Zealand sucks’ campaign. It disrespects his readers and the victims of crime. Disgusting.

I regard a 11% increase in violent crime in just one year as very significant. The fact almost every category of violent crime has had a significant increase makes it highly unlikely it is just a matter of increased reporting of domestic violence. I think one can debate these issues without calling peoeel disgusting and suggesting they don’t care about rape. Sadly Smith is unable to do so, he is so caught up in his hate towards others.

But in the end, I think his posts reflect far worse on himself than his intended targets. It may appeal to the highly partisan, but it tends to be counter productive with most people.

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