By Martin Banks - 9th November 2012
We cannot justify spending €12m creating subjective statistics on how people 'feel' about crime
MEPs have rejected a draft EU law that aimed to gather statistics on people's 'feelings' about crime.
Parliament threw out the plan after it was claimed that it would have cost up to €12m.
Some MEPs argued that such an amount "could not be spent on a project with such questionable and subjective value".
The commission's proposal would have implemented a household and personal survey across the EU to gauge people's feelings regarding their own security, which would be used to supplement traditional crime figures.
However, some MEPs, including UK Tory Tim Kirkhope, said that the cost to compile the survey was "far in excess" of any value it may provide policy makers.
In particular, he said it was felt that such surveys present a "far too subjective basis that can easily be misinterpreted and were based on each participant's emotional response".
The plan was kicked out by parliament's justice and home affairs committee. The committee's proposal will now be put to the full parliament.
Speaking after the vote yesterday, Kirkhope said, "We cannot justify spending €12m creating subjective statistics on how people 'feel' about crime.
"Statistics are extremely valuable to policy-makers and not enough tangible information exists on areas of cross-border crime such as drug trafficking, cybercrime and terrorism.
"However, soft and partial statistics such as these would not help shape policy in any meaningful way.
"Nobody in the parliament saw the added value in us moving ahead with this proposal.
"The commission needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with suggestions that we can be confident would provide value for money by assisting law enforcement agencies in their efforts to fight crime."