Thursday, 8 December 2011

POLICE STATISTICS AND THE PARANORMAL - A MISLEADING RESPONSE

Police - Misleading Statistics?
Recently, a researcher named Alexis Davey wrote to Lincolnshire Police requesting data from police reports of paranormal activity over a five year period.

The request was categorised by the police into 8 groups, and the responses that you can see below have mostly significantly increased each year:



2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
Witch
24
34
43
35
35
Werewolf/ werewolves
1
0
0
0
1
Vampires
0
0
1
1
3
UFO
0
0
5
1
4
Ghost
19
21
22
35
55
Zombie
1
1
2
3
2
Demon
70
89
107
149
212
Wizard
1
3
7
4
5















To put matters into their true perspective the police reply with these statistics was, `The above incidents are the incidents in which the above key words were included in the free text summary. This does not mean that all incidents were incidents of “Paranormal Activity”

















So (as an example) if someone called the police to report a disturbance with neighbours they heard whilst watching a vampire movie, the word `vampire` might be added to the statistical data shared above.







In effect, these figures do not give a correct overview of Alexis Davey`s request. They merely show how statistics can be easily manipulated or misinterpreted.





So despite all these requests made to police forces across the U.K. we are still none the wiser.











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