Police chief denies crime figures manipulated

Sir Stephen House. Picture: Michael Gillen

Sir Stephen House. Picture: Michael Gillen

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CHIEF Constable Sir Stephen House has angrily denied allegations that Police Scotland crime figures were manipulated for political ends.

He mounted a vigorous defence against suggestions that official statistics which show crime at a 40-year low had been distorted.

Labour has claimed performance targets have been used to boost conviction rates and make the force look as successful as possible.

Asked how he felt about the claim, Sir Stephen said: “Annoyed. I don’t agree with it. I don’t think it’s correct at all.

“It’s like saying to the cops: ‘You are not valued, we don’t trust you’. And I don’t think the majority of the public feel that way.

“The majority [of officers] will report what they see in front of them. Manipulation has happened in the history of policing, but we put in an awful lot of steps to make sure it does not happen.”

And he added: “I don’t get paid a bonus of any shape or form. I am certainly not on performance-related pay. Why would I compromise 34 years in the police for my own self-worth to take part in a manipulation of figures?”