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Police Mergers

Police Merger Statistics in the House of Commons and the Media

This talk is an illustration of how statistics can take you into the public domain at lightening speed. It is based around a piece of consulting undertaken for a local police force and involved reviewing a government report which recommended the merging of the UK's 43 police forces into 12 'strategic' forces. This was a political hot potato. My report heavily criticized the statistical analysis in the government report which did not justify its main conclusion that the minimum size should be 4000 officers. It was passed to two local members of parliament who quoted from it in a House of Commons debate on the mergers. This lead to much press coverage and an interesting two days of radio and TV interviews, including Radio 4 Today and BBC2 Newsnight, and some lessons on how to deal with the press on statistical matters

A Statistically-based Opinion on the Issue ‘Does Size Matter?’ Sought by the West Mercia Constabulary in Connection with the HMIC Review ‘Closing the Gap’, Report for West Mercia Police Authority,19 December 2005

Fifteen minutes of statistical fame: unexpected statistics in the House of Commons and in the media. Significance,(2006), 2, 81-84

Sizing up the police evidence. Invited letter to Public Finance, March 2006, 3-9.

Merger report statistics ‘questionable’. Police Review, 13 January 2006., 8.