It is claiming it has hit a target of cutting the number of juveniles entering the justice system for the first time. But thousands of youngsters were given out of court fixed penalties - which so conveniently means they are not counted as entering the court justice system.
In November, the Youth Justice Board, which oversees the management of youth offenders for the Government, announced there had been a 10.2 per cent cut in such number since 2005/06 - twice the target of five per cent - down to 87,367.But separately the government wants to show that more crimes are being detected.
But ... the figure excluded juveniles handed an out-of-court fixed penalty - of which there were up to 20,000 in 2007/08.
Conversely the fines figure was included in the larger statistics of Offences Brought to Justice, including both juveniles and adults, which presents a picture of more people being punished for their crimes.The Conservatives have promised that the Home office will no longer control crime statistics and will not see them before they are released.
Of course the government should match this but we shouldn't hold our breath.