Caution about rape figures

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Sorry to go over yesterday’s news, but I do find this latest story about cautions issued for rape rather problematic. I’m sorry to state the bleeding obvious, but you cannot detect a trend from just two statistics, especially when they are such small figures. In the grand scheme of things 40 cautions across the whole of England and Wales is a pretty small number. For all we know in 1995 there may have been 60 cautions while there may have been a notable drop between 1996 and 2003.

None of this is to say that rape isn’t serious, but on this issue more than anything else we need to have calm heads. I fail to see how sensationalist stories like this help anything or anyone.

1 thought on “Caution about rape figures

  1. I thank you sir. Was going to post this (if I could get a more reasoned analysis with stats), but have had a busy week so didn’t.

    Statistics of small numbers, combined with a number taken without reference to the rest of the figures, and no trend analysis. Utterly useless panic mongering, again.

    At that lever, it’s all individual cases, not a statistic worth analysing, and a far more important figure would be cautions:charges:reported, as from what I here the latter two are up substantially as well.

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