Boris and Priti Patel are reported to watchdog over crime stats row

Boris Johnson and Priti Patel are reported to stats watchdog for ‘falsely claiming’ that crime has fallen after there was actually a ’14 per cent RISE’ in overall offending

  • Boris Johnson told MPs on Monday that crime had been cut by 14 per cent
  • Home Office said in a press release issued last week there was ‘a drop in crime’ 
  • But Lib Dems pointed out the 14 per cent per cent figure excludes fraud offences
  • Estimates suggest when fraud is included overall crime increased by 14 per cent 

Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have been accused of ‘falsely claiming’ that crime has fallen as MPs urged the UK’s statistics watchdog to investigate. 

Mr Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons on Monday that ‘we have been cutting crime by 14 per cent’. 

Meanwhile, a Home Office press release issued last week referred to ‘a drop in crime’. 

But The Times reported that the 14 per cent figure does not include fraud offences and when they are included overall crime actually increased by 14 per cent. 

Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have been accused of ‘falsely claiming’ that crime has fallen as MPs urged the UK’s statistics watchdog to investigate

Mr Johnson made the 14 per cent claim in the Commons as he delivered a statement on Sue Gray’s Partygate update. 

Defending the Government’s record, he said: ‘At the same time, we have been cutting crime by 14 per cent, building 40 new hospitals and rolling out gigabit broadband, and delivering all the promises of our 2019 agenda, so that we have the fastest economic growth of the G7.’

The Home Office issued a press release on January 25 which stated the Government had delivered ‘a drop in crime’. 

It added: ‘Between June 2019 and June 2021, there was a 14 per cent fall in overall crime (excluding fraud and computer misuse) and in the year to June, we saw continuing falls in neighbourhood crime – including robbery and burglary – as well as falls in knife crime (excluding possession) and firearms offences, reflecting the impact of lockdown restrictions.’ 

The Times said Office for National Statistics data showed the 14 per cent fall in crime from the time Mr Johnson became PM in July 2019 to July last year did not include fraud.         

In the 12 month period between September 2020 and September 2021, fraud offences increased by 47 per cent.

When fraud offences are added to the total, overall crime actually increased by 14 per cent in a year.

Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesman, has written to Sir David Norgrove, the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, to ask him to investigate. 

Mr Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons on Monday that ‘we have been cutting crime by 14 per cent’ while a Home Office press release issued last week referred to ‘a drop in crime’

Mr Carmichael accused the PM and Home Secretary of ‘falsely claiming’ that crime had fallen, labelling it a ‘gross misrepresentation’. 

He told The Times: ‘It seems there is nothing Boris Johnson won’t lie about. Crime is up by 14 per cent – the exact opposite of what he said in parliament.

‘Thousands of people across the country are victims of fraud every day… it is outrageous for the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to pretend they simply don’t exist.’

The Home Office told the newspaper that the press release had highlighted that the 14 per cent figure excluded fraud.    

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