Labour’s Vice Chair, Tom Watson MP, has called for the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority to investigate a series of inaccurate claims made by Boris Johnson on knife crime. Tom Watson has published examples of a series of claims about the levels of knife in London made by the Tory Mayor over the last twelve months.
On four separate occasions Boris Johnson has claimed knife crime is falling, yet the official Metropolitan Police figures show it has risen three years in a row under the Tory Mayor. Boris Johnson’s claims were made in media interviews, statements at City Hall public meetings and in an article on the Mayor’s taxpayer-funded website – www.london.gov.uk
Official Metropolitan police figures say knife crime has risen 16% under the Tory Mayor. Official figures also show detection rates for knife crime have fallen in the same period.
On 24th January 2012 Boris Johnson admitted in an interview on LBC that he had cut 1700 police officers from the Metropolitan Police, despite serious crimes including knife crime, robbery, burglary and rape all rising.
Tom Watson has written to the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority calling for the Mayor’s claims to be investigated and strong action to be taken to correct any breaches of the official code.
Tom Watson MP said,
“There is clear evidence that Boris Johnson is desperately attempting to cover up his failure to tackle knife crime by misleading the public. The Tory Mayor has repeatedly claimed that knife crime is falling, yet the official police figures show knife crime is rising. It is hard to recall a more blatant misrepresentation of official figures. Boris Johnson should come clean and tell the truth about knife crime.
“It is inconceivable that the Mayor will not have been told by the police and his senior City Hall advisers that knife crime was rising in London. I want to know;
* How often has the Mayor received crime statistics from his officials and the Metropolitan Police?
* Was the Mayor warned about his incorrect claims on knife crime?
* What was the response of the Mayor to these warnings? Did he take any action?
* How is the Mayor allowed to claim on a taxpayer funded website that ‘overall, knife crime has declined in the capital’ when the only comparable figures show it is rising?
“This is an extremely serious matter for Boris Johnson. The first duty of the Mayor is to keep Londoners safe. Yet the Tory Mayor has allowed violent crimes to rise and then repeatedly lied about the figures.”Other news from London Assembly Labour