Thursday, 24 June 2010

New statistics on Lambeth: CPCG Police and Community Safety 2010 (part 1)

Every couple of years, just as the local area census data starts to look old, somebody commissions a report that sheds light on current trends and produces a new fascinating set of statistics.  On this occasion, it's the turn of the Community Police Consultative Group. Catriona Robertson (their project manager and report writer) has produced a superb account on the state of Lambeth community/police relations.  (Ms Robertson has her own blog and is also on Twitter).  I love statistics, (although my analysis skills are non-existent, so I'm just going to add some commentary in bold type).  I really welcome additional data about the area.  The report, Whose Shout? : Engagement on Community Safety in Lambeth, can be found here

From the report, I discovered that there is a State of the Borough Report (2008) which is perhaps worth examining further, and the GLA may also have produced additional figures in 2009, which help us identify who lives in the area, what they do and what opportunities are open to them.  In the mean time, I've mined the CPCG report for the following statistics, which I think you might find interesting:

* The annual turnover of population in Lambeth is 22% or 27%, if you include people who move within the borough (p5)
[This is exceedingly high, but not sure how it compares to London as a whole.]

* The population in Lambeth in 2007 was 285,580, although those registered with GPs in March 2009 was 352,762.  (p6)
[Assuming that there hasn't been a sudden rise of 68,000 residents in a year, that means that there are a lot of "hidden" folk in Lambeth.  Are these asylum seekers?  Undeclared relatives?  Folk from neighbouring boroughs who want to keep using Lambeth GPs?].

* Lambeth is the most ethnically diverse borough in London, with 52% of population beign white british, 14% being white (other), 34% being black, Asian and other. (p6). 
[It's probably worth exercising some caution here, since these figures are based on the 2001 census, and if we've got an annual turnover of 22%, I don't expect these figures to remain unchanged.  I say "hurrah" for diversity, but I'm intrigued to know whether the Borough is integrated enough, or whether some people live in unintentionally segregated groups.  I ask, on account of some recent comments on the blog, and some of the comments raised at the recent KOV meeting.]

* 60% of Lambeth is Christian, 5% Muslim, 8% other, and 29% preferred not to answer. (p6) 
[Seems to total over 100%, but nevermind.  I'd be really intrigued to know the breakdown of the 8% "other", assuming it's not Jedi or something silly.  I've a vague theory that Lambeth seems to have a higher than average number of Buddhists.  I suspect the 60% Christian figure is much higher than the national average, even once you factor out people who answer C of E by default.]

* Reliable sexual orientation data isn't available, but local surveys suggests an LGBT population of 3%-5%. (p6).  Homophobic crime rose by 46% during 2009-2010 
[Perhaps that's true of Lambeth as a whole, but my view is that Princes, Oval and parts of Stockwell wards have a significantly higher LGBT population, which I don't think is accounted for with this figure, which seems to only reflect national percentage.  The rise in homophobic crime is atrocious, but /could/ result in greater willingness to report crime.]

* Crime fell over 30% in Lambeth over seven years to 2009, although Lambeth remains a high crime area, with the third most recorded offences of all London boroughs 2008-2009. (p6) 
[I'm really suspicious of measurement of crime statistics because every few years, the police alter the definitions of certain crimes.  Also, many people still fail to report crime (especially if they're not supposed to officially be here), making this very difficult to track.  A 30% reduction, however, is probably high enough to be significant.  See here for my controversial view that knife crime is worse in North London than South London.]

* In 2009-1010, gun crime is up 33% in Lambeth and rape by 25%. (p6)
[I believe that the Borough Commander recently explained that the rise in gun crime is as a result of commercial incidents eg. bank robberies / holdups.  Obviously, that doesn't really excuse it, but I think it is worth noting that this is not necessarily gang related.  The rape statistic is very very concerning.]

* 16% of Lambeth population have a long-term limiting illness. (p7) 
[Is it me, or is this a horrifying statistic?  Surely 16% of the UK doesn't have a long-term limiting illness?  Perhaps this ties in with the recent statistic that Lambeth is the top London borough for unemployment  (9.3% of Lambeth /working age/ people are unemployed).  I suspect that the limiting illness figure is related to obtaining benefits, and that more money is available if you can demonstrate illness.  But from that figure, I want to be careful of drawing Daily Fail type conclusions.  I suspect that in Lambeth, many people draw benefits to care for older and ill extended family members and prefer to raise their own families (instead of buying in labour).  This likely reduces the bill to the state on child care and adult care homes.  However, I suspect the Tory/Lib Dem coalition may not interpret things quite as charitably!] 

* There is a much higher prevalence of mental illness in Lambeth, compared with the country as a whole.  around 37,000 (over 10% of the population) were being treated for anxiety and depression in 2008. (P7) [Again, this is a very high figure.  I wonder whether people who suffer from mental illnesses tend to live in boroughs where they know that they can seek treatment, or whether those who suffer from mental illness seek one another out, or whether mental illness is better diagnosed in Lambeth or even whether there's some kind of environmental factor that results in the higher correlation between living in Lambeth and mental illness.]

* Lambeth is the 5th most deprived Borough in Lambeth and the 19th most deprived borough in England (2007).  (p7)

This is part 1 of my summary of the Whose Shout? report, and really just contains the headline statistics and the points (with my commentary in blod) that I find most interesting and which I've not seen elsewhere.  I've not commented at all upon the police / community consultative angle of the report, and I'll do that in part 2.  The report comes in at a whopping 91 pages, and I doubt it will reach a wider audience unless it's summarised somewhat.  It's very useful on account of its length, but I think that there are some other conclusions that readers of this blog might be interested in, without needing to read the whole thing.  Expect part 2 in the next few days.

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