Glasgow Crime Poster

[Photo of police poster]THIS POSTER WAS SPOTTED OUTSIDE CROSSMYLOOF RAILWAY STATION IN SHAWLANDS.

It states:

“3691
fewer victims of common assault”

I don’t know about you, but this poster troubled me.

First of all, why are the police paying for advertising posters like this? Is this a good use of financial resources? Perhaps, as a result of the suggested drop in criminal activity, the police have the time and money for this project?

It then begs the question, why are there fewer victims? The police deal with assault, rather than with the reasons for assault, so they cannot be given credit for lower crime, however, the poster carries the  suggestion that the Police have had some positive effect, that the police in some way are responsible for the drop in this crime figure, when such a notion is utterly preposterous.

This leads to the next question: are there fewer victims of common assault because of a drop in reported assaults, a change in the definition of common assault or victim, or a change in reporting period?  What is the context, and what possible reasons – what lessons can we learn? The poster is an insult to the intelligence.

We’re not especially au fait with Scots Law, so the term, common assault, suggests that there could well be other kinds of assault (although I don’t know what they are, nor if they exist), perhaps the figures have been manipulated such that the 3691, or a portion thereof, has been taken from the common assault category and simply moved to another category, or other categories, of assault.

I have a problem too with the number given.  It is not a percentage, it is an extremely precise (not rounded up or down) figure, 3691.

What does this number mean? Fewer than what and when? 3691 fewer than last week? Last year? what?

Finally, if the poster is not pro-Police, but simply to make Glaswegians happier or to feel safer, it fails miserably because 3691 is a massive number — and yet it is not the number of common assaults, it is merely the variation!  If 3691 is the drop, what on earth is the actual number of common assaults?  Having a drop of 3691 implies that common assaults must be many times greater than this figure.  One ought to immediately begin to take care as assault is very likely imminent.

I must say that it would not be much of a comfort to visitors to the city. Poor tourists! Mind you, they ought to have heard about Glasgow’s violent reputation before coming, from sites such as this. Or this.

Things are getting worse when Police put up posters to scare or con an unsuspecting public.

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