Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey has criticised Boris Johnson for citing an inaccurate statistic about crime in London when he was Mayor and promoting Stop and Search in his campaign launch video, released today.
In the video, Johnson claims “we got crime down by 20%” in London when he was Mayor. The actual figure is 15%. In addition, he argues for more Stop and Search, despite a 2016 Home Office analysis of his expansion of Stop and Search in London that found “no statistically significant crime-reducing effect from the large increase in weapons searches”.
Responding to the video, Ed Davey said:
“For Johnson to kick off his leadership campaign with a lie is at least very on-brand.
“He didn’t get crime in London down by 20%, and his own Government’s own analysis shows that his massive increase in Stop & Search had ‘no discernible crime-reducing effects’.
“We need real solutions to violent crime in London and across the country, not a return to gimmicky policies that have been proven not to work.”
According to official government figures, police recorded crime in London fell by 15% from 2007-08 to 2015-16. The data is available here.
A 2016 Home Office analysis of the Met’s ‘Operation BLUNT 2’ found “no statistically significant crime-reducing effect from the large increase in weapons searches” and that “ambulance call-outs actually fell faster in those boroughs that had smaller increases in weapons searches”. It concluded that “Overall, analysis shows that there was no discernible crime-reducing effects from a large surge in stop and search activity at the borough level during the operation.” The full report is available here.