Thursday, 17 November 2011

Boris Johnson's false crime claims exposed

Boris Johnson's claims to have drastically cut crime since becoming Mayor are based on figures from three years before he was elected, this blog can reveal.

The Mayor's campaign website and Twitter feed have repeatedly claimed that Boris has cut crime by a whopping 9% across London. 

However, analysis of the Metropolitan Police figures shows that there has been a much more modest fall of around 5% since 2007-8 (or just 3% since 2008-09)

Under the heading "Since I became Mayor in 2008" they claim that: 

"Robberies are down 18.5%." 

However, the most recent figures show that robbery has actually risen by 4.6% across London since the end of Ken Livingstone's term in 2007-8.

The campaign's borough level stats are also incorrect. On a recent visit to Tower Hamlets, Boris's campaign claimed that there had been a 14.2% fall in crime in the borough.

However, analysis of the figures shows that crime has fallen by just 5% since 2007 and has actually risen by 6% since 2008-09 

A spokesperson for Boris's campaign said the borough figures were based on comparing crime levels in May 2010 with crime levels in May 2006, two years before Boris became Mayor.

Their claim that crime has fallen by 9% under Boris was based on an even more historical figure, comparing crime levels in May 2011, with crime levels in May 2005.

In other words Boris is taking credit for falls in crime that took place three whole years before he walked through the door at City Hall.

Yesterday Boris hit out at the chair of the UK Statistics Authority who had criticised his previous misleading use of statistics.

Rather than admit his errors (deliberate or otherwise) Boris accused the Chair of the UKSA of being a "Labour stooge." This was also not true.

A spokesperson for Boris's campaign said yesterday that they had used crime figures from three years before Boris became mayor in order to get as accurate a picture as possible. 

They also said that they were in the process of updating their figures.

-Update- Boris's team have been in touch to make it clear that they were comparing crime between 2005-2008 with crime between 2008-2011, rather than comparing crime between 2005 with 2011 as I was told yesterday. So they were using a different set of wrong figures to the ones they told me originally.


Anonymous said...

There's lies, damn lies and then there's Boris Johnson.

buddyhell said...

Frank Carson's catchphrase, "It's the way I tell 'em" should have been adopted by Boris.

What a joker.