Its official then - they're lieing to us...
From the BBCGovernment claims of successes on law and order since 1997 are "overstated" and "misleading", a study has said.
The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, at London's King's College, said billions spent on reform had not yielded significant improvements.
Spending on law and order has risen dramatically and proportionately now costs more than the US, the study said.
The Home Office said the analysis was wrong and pointed to record numbers of police officers and prison places.
But the King's College report says questions remain over value for money.
On close inspection, it says, successes in cutting crime are not impressive, with a rise in the number of killings.
Fewer offences result in a conviction, in spite of the government's claim that more are brought to justice.
According to the report, one of the "most conspicuous failures" is on re-offending, with targets modified, missed or dropped.
Shadow home secretary David Davis said the widespread use of fines and cautions were being used to manipulate the figures.
"This report betrays a history of fiddled figures and doubtful claims. For example, of the total number of offenders brought to 'justice', convictions have actually fallen from 69% in 2003 to 53% in 2006.
"The rest have been provided by gimmicks such as fines and increased use of cautions, meaning actual and effective justice is not being delivered."