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Crime figures are 'biased'

Report says pressure to meet targets is causing crimes to be wrongly classified or not recorded at all

POLICE authorities have been accused of manipulating crime figures, in a new report looking at the reliability of the official published statistics.

A parliamentary commission claims the data collected is "incomplete, biased and insufficient" in a report submitted to the National Assembly today.

It says crimes are being wrongly classified by officers, from a list of more than 100 offences, or police and gendarmes refuse to register the crime at all in order to not reach targets.

The commission says tougher controls are needed from an independent watchdog. It says the Observatoire National de la Délinquance et des Réponses Pénales, which compiles the statistics, is too close to the interior ministry and its president should be independently appointed by MPs.

Today's report is based on interviews with crime experts, police officers, magistrates and civil servants since last October. The report concludes that police are under too much pressure to meet performance targets.

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