Police 'baffled' by Cameron's take on crime

Police claim London crime is atypical
Police claim London crime is atypical

One of Britain's most senior policeman has told politicians to stop distorting crime figures for their own ends.

Ken Jones, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, was speaking after David Cameron used a series of speeches on violent crime to try and rejuvenate his party.

Mr Jones said he was "baffled" by Mr Cameron's claims of "anarchy in the UK".

The Conservatives deny they are scaremongering, claiming they are advocating a long-term three-dimensional approach to bringing down crime.


Mr Cameron accused Labour of pursuing a "knee jerk" formula of Downing Street summits and new laws.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Jones said violent crime is now at its lowest level since the mid-1990s.

Saying he was "baffled" by claims the UK has a high crime rate, Mr Jones said people in Britain now face the lowest risk of falling victim to crime for over a quarter of a century.

Mr Jones said: "You talk about the London murder rate and it's a real problem, but if you look at similar cities in the US it's about five times lower.

"People are distorting the figures for their own ends and I think we need to try and rebuild trust.

"It isn't a deliberate attempt to go out and distort. It is a lack of trust in the data."

He said the "vast majority" of people in Britain live in "security-confident communities".

The minority that do not need leaders in politics, government and the media "to actually show more leadership and be more calm measured and objective over this", Mr Jones added.

Mr Cameron has delivered a series of speeches in recent weeks describing "anarchy in the UK" and calling for more concerted action against crime.

The Tories advocate a multi-dimensional approach to crime, combining greater freedom for the police with a renewed emphasis on social cohesion.

Early polls show Mr Cameron's focus on crime is helping to win back voters. The Conservatives suffered under the 'Brown bounce' but are again leading some polls on health and crime.

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