21 March marked the publication of a major review into “the standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police Service” (that’s the police in London). The author, Baroness Casey, concludes that there is “institutional racism” in the Met, one example of which is that black Londoners are “over-policed”.
Now the question is if she does understands the math or not? I am often stunned how innumerate people are but in her position you should be able to expect a solid background in statistics.
I think Casey (though seriously overrated as a policy “go to” ), isn’t uninformed. However, the social science academics who i suspect advise her will be driven much more by right-on reputation washing than statistical rigour Casey is chosen because though a thoroughly Blairist and house trained policy bureaucrat, she usually tries to feign having a mind of her own. In this issue as Noah knows to his great professional and personal cost you are just not allowed to reject the dogma of institutional racism as an explanation for any and all disparities.
Actuarially, determining the correct denominator is called "Exposed to Risk", and its correct assessment makes up one of the more awkward actuarial exams.
Easier just to shout "Racist!" ?
About 1 in 7 of the London population is black, and they suffer disproportionate murder rates. Apart from "trophy killings" like David Gomah, (where victims are almost invariably black), a key factor has to be drugs - a trade financed by the white middle class. This is the true racism.
There needs to be more study of this, as many in the media accept drug use as normality, even if they aren't users themselves. Media aren't going to tell you about this....