Thursday 4 February 2010

Walking on Broken Glass

There are lies, damn lies and statistics (as I'm sure you're aware) but even by the Government's standards this is a doozy!

You may have seen the story today about the new 'safe' pint glasses and that it would help significantly curb the 87,000 injuries caused by attacks involving glass.

What interests me is that when they first announced this scheme it was with a figure of 5,500 - which I commented on at the time - and now it's leapt to 283 injuries a day! Hmmmm, how does this happen one asks?

Well, I've found out.

According to a Home Office spokesperson the latest figure was arrived at by the simple expedient of taking the total figure of ALL violent crime from the British Crime Survey 2007-08 and then finding how much of that total figure involved glasses or bottles, which was 4%, and arriving at the number of 87,000.

But, and this is the significant point here, we are talking about ALL violent crime involving a bottle or glass - not just those incidents that took place in a pub which the Home Office said when this initiative was launched was actually 5,500 people injured a year.

So, even though the Home Office Press Office admitted that the figures aren't all about pubs it's already out there that if you think glass attacks you think pint glass and if you think pint glass you think what? The answer for the lobotomised is the pub!

And if the number first used when announcing this initiative is the true figure then it makes sense that 81,500 attacks involving bottles & glass don't take place in a pub... which begs this question - why are we spending taxpayers money on redesigning the pint glass?

My god, how much harder is the Government looking to make life on pubs? And this is even before you start talking about the inevitable additional cost of this glassware, which is almost certain to become mandatory!

Also, do attacks with pint glasses really cost the NHS an estimated £2.7 billion each year? No, again, that's the cost of total glass and bottle-related violence and, if I'm correct in my guess, pub-related glass attacks represent just 6% of that figure.

Would we not be better placed spending money on figuring out why people are hurling bottles and glasses at each other in the street and at home? Rather than designing a piece of glassware responsible for just 6% of the problem?

Anyway, I am trying to delve deeper into these figures, and am making some headway on this, but in the meantime here's some food for thought.

If a large part of this initiative is driven by cost to the NHS then I think I've found a way to help the Government out by looking at some other statistics seeing as they're so keen on them and I've come up with a plan.

You see, there are lots of other much larger 'drains' on the health service's resources and I've identified some of them courtesy of the RoSPA home and leisure safety statistics*:

  • 2,873 people injured themselves on clothes baskets
  • 5,807 injured themselves on an outside or wheelie bin
  • 30,044 injured themselves injured themselves in the bath or due to the water in it
  • 1,385 people sustained injuries in the home from balloons (580 outside of the home)
  • 10,782 people injured out of home with hockey sticks (just 56 in-home mind you!)
  • 12,003 people injured due to socks, stockings or tights in home (that's a lot of autoerotic asphyxiation accidents) OR the 1,721 who were injured out of home by the same
  • And don't even get me started on the evils of the running shoe - with 77,309 people in-home and a whopping 222,078 people injuring themselves through this death-trap style of footwear out of home!!!!!!!

So, I think the Government should be investing in klutz-sensor clothes baskets and bio-metric recognition for wheelie bins first of all.

Then perhaps they could fund research into how to make a bath from marshmallows or how we can secretly euthanise those stupid enough to be injured so badly by balloons that they need to go to hospital and, of course, ban hockey.

Of course, I think a highly expensive PR campaign is in order to encourage the female of the species (and cross-dressers) to reinstate the Blitz mentality, start staining our legs with teabags and drawing seams up the back with eyebrow pencils in order to stamp out the scourge of stocking-related slip-ups.

And, my personal favourite, shoot all joggers, power walkers, runners and young people on sight to rid the world of the evils of sneakers.

In fact, if the current Government is anything to go by, this could be the basis for an electable political manifesto!!!
Who's with me?!

*(I am waiting on more recent figures from RoSPA as these are from 2002, I can't wait, I swear it could chart whether the country's collective IQ is dipping!)


stophmcbride said...

Brilliant! You make a very, very good point!

Cooking Lager said...

Let go darn the Home Office and glass 'em !

That'll learn 'em

Ed said...

Unfortunately it has also been picked up by the BBC here.

Melissa Cole said...

Yeah, I know, depressing! I will be contacting them but don't hold your breath unless you consider Smurf attractive!!!

Sid Boggle said...

The £2.7 billion is the amount the NHS says alcohol misuse costs the service, but with this government that figure is elastic enough to be trotted out for any pub-related mischief. At least the Beeb Beeb Ceeb pointed that out...

Tandleman said...

Great stuff M.