So some of you may remember, Last month Simon posted a news story that was regarding the police tackling bike crime in Cambridge, as you may see in the comments below the article, I had mixed views on the "success" of the operation, So after a little digging and thanks to the link posted by user timlennon, I decided to fill up a Freedom of Information Request (FOI)....Link to the story.
After no success with my first FOI, I was pointed in the direction of the office who made hold the information I was looking for
>> First request http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/operation_northwood
So today i received a response from the Cambridgeshire Constabulary, dealing with my request for information on man hours and cost of the operation, unfortunately they do not keep record of the man hours, but did give me the figure that the operation had cost, being £136,564.52
>> Second request http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/operation_northwood_2
We have completed all searches within Cambridgeshire Constabulary and
hereby enclose your response.
1. Unfortunately, we have been unable to locate any information to satisfy
your request, as we do not hold this information. This is due to the fact
we do not record the amount of man hours.
2. Total cost for Operation Northwood to date £136,564.52.
So as I said in the final comment on the story page
I'm not against using the money this way Alan and i have filed a FOI request to find out how many man hours and the cost of the operation was.
I think its a good idea in principle, but would just like to see the cost/conviction rate, i'll take it on the 62 reported and that cost against that of the 724 bikes difference
At the moment 724/62 is around 11.67 bikes per conviction
If i was to work it out against the 20 people locked up, it would be higher, so i'll stick to the 62, there is obviously the cost to the courts for how ever many of the 62 were processed through the court system and then the 20 who have been locked up, there is the price for having them in jails and detention centres, but i wont bother trying to factor that in.
Finding out the price and man hours is purely for my own views, but i will share it when i find out, if its not hugely excessive, i'd like to see it rolled out/trailed in other parts of the country where bike crime is also high
So now we have a price to go by, here are my findings (non-scientific) and purely for my own views on the subject, but everyone is welcome to comment, just dont get nasty with it.
The cost of the operation being £136,564.52 I said i would work it out per conviction but I'm also going to work it out per bike as the numbers listed had a drop of 724 bikes reported stolen
So 62 people convicted works out around £22,027 per conviction, which in my eyes is slightly high, thats around a average person's wage per person caught
724 bikes reported drop, working out at around £1,886 per bike.
So as I said, I'll welcome comments on this, but my view is, thats not really value "for money policing" once you also factor in court time and costs, also the costs for the people who were imprisoned for their crimes.
As a one of operation, it does show however that if this were to be rolled out nationally and done in the right way, there could be a dramatic drop in the number of bikes stolen every year.
If rolled out nationally, I could see the cost of these operation falling as other areas took it up. Even if it just ran for a set period of time, the cost per operation would actually be worth while as the people convicted may be put of stealing bikes in the future and therefore saving the police, insurance companies and other organizations the costs incurred dealing with the crime.
As a one of operation though, I see it having little impact of the general issue of bike crime.