LETTER:Sir Paul Condon's damaging race statistics

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The Independent Online
From Mr Jon Gray

Sir: Statistics can be revealing. It would be interesting to see figures relating robbers to educational attainment, unemployment levels and the value of the houses where they live. The least interesting thing is the colour of their skin. These are not black muggers. They are poor, disenfranchised muggers from poor, disenfranchised families with no prospects and no value to respectable society. They have formed their own culture in which it is positively fashionable to be anti-social. That is the price of our prejudice and neglect.

There is no less inclination to crime against property among the stockbrokers of Surrey than the people of Brixton. People at the comfortable end of the scale are not intrinsically more honest. They are not always slow to take a chance when it comes, there's just less urgency about it. Unemployed and alienated young people simply don't have the opportunity to fiddle the markets, cheat people of their pensions or take bribes; they inhabit an earthier world where their need is greater and their crimes more direct.

An analysis of theft by value and the political affiliation of the perpetrator might give Sir Paul Condon pause. His statistics simply reveal that it is easy to count and record.

Yours sincerely,

Jon Gray

Bath

7 July

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