Thursday, March 31, 2005

Lies, damned lies and... more lies

You read it here first, but at last someone has blown the gaff on the Tories lies about crime.

The Tories have been running adverts in local papers across the country 'exposing' the rapid increase in violent crime under the Labour government. Their statistics are accurate, but they cannot be compared as the recording standards for crime have been changed. Chief constables across the country are, understandably, furious. It has reached the point where the Association of Chief Police Officers, not known as a radical, left-wing group, has released a statement:

'The most recent crime figures demonstrate the success of the police service and its partners in reducing volume crime such as burglary and robbery. This has been achieved by focusing on crimes that concern communities most and on prolific and priority offenders.

'The risk of being of a victim is still at its lowest for 23 years. The British Crime Survey shows that crime has reduced over the last 10 years and that violent crime has remained stable. Notwithstanding the continued impact of the national recording changes that were implemented in 2002, our analysis of the rise in police recorded violent crime has shown that much of it represents low-level thuggery and alcohol fuelled violence. These offences, although taken seriously by the police and a priority for the future, result in minor or no physical injury but have inflated the recorded violent crime figures.

'If we want to increase the fear of crime, the selective use of statistics can help in doing that. However, we feel that it is important that all crime statistics - which forces publish regularly - should be put into context and communicated in a responsible way to the public.' [Emphasis added]

Richard Brunstrom, Chief Constable of North Wales, added,

'This misleading advert quite improperly seeks to stir up fear of rising crime when it is a well established fact that crime has been falling for years both locally and nationally. I'm disappointed in the extreme that it has appeared in the press in a very marginal constituency in the run-up to a general election.'

So, are the Tories apologetic? What do you think?

Dr Fox was wheeled out on Channel Four news to try and defend the nasty campaign from the nasty party.
'If you ask people across the country what their greatest fear is, fear of crime is amongst them. We have had a million more violent crimes committed in out country last year. We are seeing a massive rise in violent crime the likes of which we have never seen, certainly in the last century.'

The Tories hope to win by scaring you. Scaring you about asylum seekers, about immigrants, about yobs, about crime, about gypsies...

Don't let 'em win. If you happen to run into a Tory candidate over the weeks to come, ask them why they are lying to you.

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