Lib Dems report Johnson & Patel over false crime stat claims

The Liberal Democrats have reported both the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to the statistics watchdog for falsely claiming a reduction in overall crime levels.

Alistair Carmichael, the party’s Home Affairs Spokesperson, has written to Sir David Norgrove, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, about comments made by Boris Johnson in the House of Commons yesterday and by Priti Patel in a Home Office press release last week.

During his statement on the Sue Gray investigation, Johnson claimed “we have been cutting crime by 14%”. In a press release on Thursday, Patel said “This Government continues to cut crime through our Beating Crime Plan”.

Both claims are directly contradicted by the latest official crime figures, published by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday. They show “a 14% increase in total crime”, and report that decreases in certain types of crime “were related to the coronavirus pandemic and government instructions to limit social contact” – not the Government’s crime policies.

The Prime Minister’s claim of a 14% fall in crime excludes fraud and computer misuse altogether – which have soared by 47% in the last two years.

Alistair Carmichael MP, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, said: “Given the Prime Minister is under investigation by the police, it’s little wonder he is deceiving the public about rising crime.

Alistair Carmichael MP

“It seems there is nothing Boris Johnson won’t lie about. Crime is up by 14% – the exact opposite of what he said in Parliament.

“Thousands of people across the country are victims of fraud every day, sometimes losing their entire life savings to callous criminal gangs. These victims are being failed by a government that is completely failing to tackle fraud. It is outrageous for the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to pretend they simply don’t exist.

“Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have misled the public over rising crime. They must come clean and correct the record in Parliament.”

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