'Misleading' Comments On Crime Angers Met

Police deny suggestions that figures were "massaged"

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Metropolitan Police Crime Statistics 2007-2008

The Metropolitan Police Service has responded to 'misleading' comments in Evening Standard about crime figures for London.

After reporting that crime had fallen in London by more than six per cent in the last 12 months, the article, published on Thursday 16th April, concluded "The latest statistics are likely to reignite the debate over crime figures among the mayoral candidates with two of the leading contenders throwing doubt on how they are compiled. Former police officer Brian Paddick has described the crime figures recorded by the Met as “unreliable” while Boris Johnson has claimed there is huge under-reporting of crime in the capital."

Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson said, "We reject any suggestion that the MPS has "massaged" its crime figures or has bowed to any external pressures. The MPS has had a policy of publishing its crime figures on a monthly basis for almost ten years. Since 2002 these published figures have shown that overall crime in London has fallen year-on-year.

"Any suggestion that the 'Met fixes' its crime figures would be misleading and not only damages the reputation of the MPS, but would be disparaging to the thousands of men and women from the Met who every day are risking their lives and having major success in tackling crime to make London safe."

"Our crime figures are subject to a high level of scrutiny. It was the MPS that last year approached the MPA to undertake a scrutiny into crime reporting data that now seems to be the basis of selective commentary.

"Although the scrutiny made a number of recommendations in relation to crime reporting processes, nothing was found that changed the over-arching picture of crime in London, and the significant success achieved in reducing crime in recent years that the crime figures demonstrate.

"It is fair to say that I and the MPS have for sometime had concerns about the amount of time that is spent on the administration of crime data adding to unacceptable levels of bureaucracy. This is something we raised with Sir Ronnie Flanagan and upon which he reflects in his review of policing."

"The truth, as Mr. Gilligan in his comments piece recognises, is that there has been a drop in crime in London and that this reduction has been on-going for a number of years. That is the reality and we must ensure that it continues."

April 18, 2008