This year has seen an astonishing 15% drop in the crime rate in England and Wales, leaving it at its lowest rate since records began. Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the news, and to much surprise he claimed personal responsibility for the drop.
Police say that the real reason is due to the recent financial crisis, which has led to many criminal organisations struggling to survive. A large number of gang members have been made redundant in the last few years, and most gangs are not planning to begin recruiting again for a while, in order to save capital for an expected economic upturn.
Some former gang members have found alternative work in proper jobs. One such ex-thug is Barry Knuckles, a notorious hoodlum who now works as an automated checkout attendant in a major supermarket chain. "I was at the end of my tether," he explained. "I couldn't find anyone who wanted to do a bank job, and train robberies are just too 20th century. But then a friend of mine told me that he had a contact at the Jobcentre who could help me out if I was willing to try something different. It sounded very suspicious at first, but once I got into it, it opened up a whole new world. I'm too embarrassed to tell my old gang mates about it, I don't know what they'd say if they knew what I was up to. But it pays the bills, so I just get on with it and try not to think about it too much."
The reduction in criminal activity is not the only reason for the drop in crime, according to undercover police informant Bobby Snitch. He thought that there was another obvious cause. "I shouldn't be telling you this," he said. "But actually the police have been ordered to only write down half the crimes that are reported. The other half of the time, we're only pretending to write it down. It's shocking, isn't it! It's this government's policy to cut spending and save prison spaces. But you ain't heard nothing from me about it!"
If Snitch's comments are correct, then the real crime rate would have risen by 70%, which doesn't tally with what is being heard from the criminal community. Civil servant Geoffrey Fudge, who works at the Ministry of Information, had another explanation. "It's easy, we just pick a number out of thin air and that's the official crime statistic. As long as it's lower than the previous year's number, nobody seems to complain. That's been our policy for three or four years now and from what I heard that comes from the top."
So whichever of the three explanations is correct, it appears that PM could be responsible for the reduced crime figures after all.