Grayling fails to release full details of “study” showing rise in violent crime

Chris Grayling is at the centre of yet more allegations of misusing statistics after failing to provide details of a study showing a 44% rise in violent crime.

Chris Grayling is at the centre of yet more allegations of misusing statistics after failing to provide full details of a House of Commons Library “study”, spun to the right wing press this morning, which apparently showed a 44 per cent rise in violent crime.

The shadow home secretary’s office are the only people able to release the complete details of the “study” – which is, in fact, “not a study at all”, as a spokeswoman for the House of Commons Library explained to Left Foot Forward:

I’m afraid I cannot send you the information you require, it was an individual request for information from a member. I can’t even tell you who that member is because it was a confidential request, though it’s pretty obvious who it was.

“In any case, it’s not a study at all, just some answers to a request from a member.”

All of which poses a number of questions, both for Grayling and the papers which ran with his figures:

• Why is Grayling so reluctant to release the full details?

• Why didn’t any newspapers press him on the details?

• Would Grayling have released any figures at all if they had contradicted his hypothesis?

• Would anyone have found out about his request if he had failed to release the findings?

Left Foot Forward has previously reported that violent crime is down, on a range of indicators, both in the past year and over the past 15 years.

The recent “Home Office Statistical Bulletin: Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2008/09″ shows homicides down 14% from 2007/8 – the lowest level for ten years – “Sharp instrument” homicides down 6%, shooting homicides down 26% and all firearms offences down 18% – the fifth consecutive fall.

The official figures also reveal all violent crime, classed as robbery, sexual offences, assault and murder, is down nearly 50 per cent since peaking in 1995.

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