Starmer Admonished by UK Statistics Authority for False PMQs Crime Stats

Keir Starmer has received a fact check bollocking by the UK Statistics Authority after falsely claiming that crime was rising during a PMQs session last month. A letter from Sir David Norgrove warns Sir Keir that his misleading statement could cause “alarm” among the public which is “not supported by the data.” Sir David also points out crime is actually falling, whilst warning Starmer that his predecessor Corbyn fell into the same trap. Not a great look for a supposed details man, and former Director of Public Prosecutions… 

“Total crime levels have been falling since the mid-1990s, including last year (though comparisons involving last year are complicated by a change in the method of collection).

The risk with the statements you made is that people may be alarmed by figures that do not reflect reality, which could affect their behaviour and lead to pressure for policy changes not supported by the data. I am sure you agree that this would not be desirable.”

A Tory source tells Guido they are “pleased Sir Keir has been slapped on the wrists for his misleading comments and hope he won’t repeat his wrong and alarming claims”. Before anyone claims Sir David is a Tory stooge, the last time he made major headlines was during a row with Boris over the £350 million a day figure…

Read Sir David Norgrove’s letter in full below:

Dear Sir Keir,

At Prime Minister’s Questions on 28 April you said that “crime is going up”. You made a similar claim during the Commons debate on the Queen’s Speech on 11 May: “Since 2015, recorded violent crime has doubled”.

As the Office for National Statistics says in every release of crime statistics, and I said in a letter to your predecessor, the face-to-face Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) is a better indicator of long-term trends than police recorded crime. It is unaffected by changes in levels of reporting to the police or police recording practices. The CSEW shows a reduction in violent crime of 28% between the year ending March 2015 and the year ending March 2020.

Total crime levels have been falling since the mid-1990s, including last year (though comparisons involving last year are complicated by a change in the method of collection).

The risk with the statements you made is that people may be alarmed by figures that do not reflect reality, which could affect their behaviour and lead to pressure for policy changes not supported by the data. I am sure you agree that this would not be desirable.

I am copying my letter to Kit Malthouse MP, who wrote to me about your statements.

Yours sincerely,

Sir David Norgrove

mdi-account-multiple-outline Keir Starmer
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