Facile statistics

Reading the news today, something odd struck me. Colin Moses, chairman of the Prison Officers’ Association, is quoted as saying:

“When Gordon Brown puts his 81,000 prisoners in prison, he puts them into the hands of my members, who have to put up with eight assaults a day.”

Compare and contrast with this piece about assistance calls from bus drivers, discussing statistics obtained by Tories in the London Assembly:

The statistics also show the incidents of code red calls — when the driver has to stop the bus and call for outside help — due to anti-social behaviour increased from 465 cases in September 2005 to 697 cases in October 2006.

It’s hard to compare the two sets of data, but on the face of it prisons are a safer work environment than London buses. Of course, even one assault is too many, but still… what?

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