You may have noticed news reports last weekend about the steady fall in crime in the UK. I say “may” because the news achieved nothing like the prominence it would have if the crime rate had increased.
There is no shortage of explanations for why the level of crime is decreasing. The likeliest answer is that there is no single or dominant cause but that, in any case, nobody really knows.
The explanation for the muted news coverage is simpler. Not only do the British media not like good news, the Tory press in particular does not like news that refutes tired old right-wing tropes, and none of those tropes is more tired than “the country is going to the dogs”.
The press persists because it knows its market. Last week, I was standing at a bus stop listening to a group of local elderly people moan about how crime was getting worse. The evidence appeared to consist of nothing more than an observation that local teenagers were more cheeky. The bus stop in question was in the district of North Kesteven, which the crime survey reported as the 15th most peaceful in England and Wales. There’s no pleasing some folk.