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Crime Crime

Build on the crime record achieved over the last 7 years

Last updated: 12:41pm 15 December 2018

The last seven years have seen historic falls in crime and improvements in public safety. We will build on that record.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.43

Our verdict

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirm the manifesto claim that crime levels were falling in the seven years preceding the 2017 election, part of a trend extending much further back than that:

“Over recent decades, we’ve seen continued falls in overall levels of crime…” – Office for National Statistics

This policy is a promise to “build on that record”.  There are various other policies outlining mechanisms which may contribute to attaining this goal, but we are interpreting this particular pledge as referring specifically to the official overall crime statistics.  So we’re looking for further falling crime levels as evidence of government building on the “historic falls in crime”.

The latest release of figures based on the Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that:

“crime…rose by 6% in the year ending June 2018 (to 6.2 million offences)”

That figure excludes survey responses to questions on fraud and computer misuse, which were only recently introduced, to make it useful for long-term comparisons.  But even when those responses are included:

“Estimates for total crime, including fraud and computer misuse, showed no change (10.7 million offences)”

Whichever of the two measures is used, there is no evidence that the government has succeeded in building on historic falls in crime – the levels have either stayed the same or worsened. On that basis, we’re marking this policy as ‘broken’.  There is still time for the situation to improve, so we’ll be watching for the next annual release of statistics.  Follow this policy for the latest developments.

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