There has been a plethora of statistics reported in the press recently. I do try and read behind these as we all know there are lies, damned lies and statistics and, like many organisations, the police are very good at manipulating them.
The first story that caught my eye related to rape offences in Oslo. In the last five years every single rapist charged has been a male born outside of Western Europe. I put this to the back of my mind and then a few days later similar statistics were released relating to the UK. Nationally, one in five rapes is now committed by a person born outside of the UK. In London it is almost one in three. Murder statistics are similar and in some forces more than half their murders have been committed by non UK born residents.
Inevitably there have been calls from the far right to halt immigration and repatriate everyone, especially those of a different hue. I have no time for these people and I do believe that, on balance, some immigration has been beneficial to our country. I do have serious concerns regarding the numbers that have come here in the last 15 years and the problems this is causing in areas such as housing, health, maternity and demands on other public services, including the police.
Another interesting statistic I saw recently is that in the last 15 years the number of households where no one has ever worked has almost doubled. We have an increasing number of British born families sat around at home on benefits while foreign workers have taken up the opportunity of jobs. I for one am glad they have. Our service industry, health service and building industries, amongst others, would be in a mess if left to British born workers (or non workers.)
I am not sure there is a link between these two issues other than immigration. Regarding the rape and murder offences, my view is that we have somehow got to get a grip of the Human Rights Act which allows serious offenders to commit rape and murder but remain immune to repatriation for many bizarre reasons. Somehow we have got to get over the ridiculous HRA. Any immigrant should understand that if you commit a serious offence you will be punished and then sent back from whence you came, and I for one really don't care what happens to you when they get there. But more than that we need to understand more about who is coming here and the risks they may present. We also need to do more about some of the cultural issues that exist, such as where men from some countries come here and see western women as a legitimate target for rape and sexual abuse. That will need some balls Mr Cameron!
Regarding the households where no one works, this will take a generation to resolve. I firmly believe that the reduction that has taken place in acquisitive crime over the last 15 years is largely due to the huge increase in benefits. While the unemployed still make up a significant proportion of offenders that the police deal with for drugs, alcohol and acquisitive crime etc many have stopped offending as their benefits are so generous they neither feel the need to offend or work for that matter. Another interesting statistic for you; currently in Britain one in 10 of all adults of working age are in receipt of incapacity benefit. If the figure was one in 50 or one in 100 then I might think that was reasonable. The idea that one in 10 people of working age too sick to do any sort of paid work is ridiculous. Here is a good example of how that little scam works.
The Government are allegedly cracking down on benefit cheats and reducing some benefits. While I applaud this, I hope that they are prepared for the inevitable rise in crime that will result. We have got to get to grips with the culture that has developed in this country that if you cannot be bothered to work you can live rent free, council tax free and have a decent income and lifestyle on the back of the working taxpayer. The justice system though needs to do its part and have a strategy to deal with an increasing number of offenders who decide that crime pays better than work. I have little confidence in this happening.