Grayling’s use of crime stats attacked by fact checkers


Chris Grayling’s credibility appeared to be on the line today as two independent factcheck websites undermined his claims, reiterated on Radio 4 Today, that violent crime has gone up under Labour.

At 09.41, Fact Check tweeted, “Some recommended reading if you heard the violent crime figures chats on @r4today this morn”. They linked to two pieces. The first details that, “Up and down the country, local [Conservative] leaflets make a number of dodgy claims about crime” while the second says:

“The two main sets of violent crime statistics show completely opposite trends.

“In the blue corner, recorded crime figures – which are affected by changes in the way crimes are counted by the police – do show a rise. But in the red corner, the British Crime Survey, which asks people about their experiences of crime, shows violent offences have in fact decreased by more than 40 per cent.

“This is politics, you can’t really blame the Tories from only quoting the statistics that are most useful to them…except they’ve been, specifically, warned not to by the head of the UK Statistics Authority.”

This afternoon, Full Fact – an independent fact-checking organisation – said:

“The BCS, as all parties accept, does show declining levels of violent crime.

“The study of A&E admissions by academics at Cardiff University also backs up Alan Johnson’s claim. In their most recent report, the researchers say that serious violence has come down every year since 2001…

“The official figures do not back up Chris Grayling’s claim.

Full Fact also criticised Alan Johnson for claiming that “crime had doubled” under the Conservatives.

Left Foot Forward has, for weeks, challenged the shadow home secretary to publish the House of Commons report, cited by the Spectator this morning, on which he bases his figures. We have also shown that three measures of violent crime has fallen, including both his preferred measure.


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