Friday, 31 August 2007

Violent crimes "are going up"

If the Artful Dodger picked my pocket, I would probably feel angry and frustrated, but it would not be a life-ruining experience. By contrast, if Bill Sykes battered me senseless and robbed me, while Bullseye savaged my leg, I would almost certainly be traumatised - or worse.

The obvious (to me) difference between the two is why, in this column last week, I focused largely on disputed trends in violent crime, rather than all misdemeanours. My argument was that the Government is guilty of selectively using statistics to show that violent crime is falling, when in fact it is not.

The scale of response from The Daily Telegraph's readers, via our website and letters, confirmed that David Cameron's Conservatives were right this week to restore tackling crime, especially violent crime, as a policy priority.

While an overwhelming majority of correspondents supported my view, an articulate minority criticised me for "cherry-picking" facts to distort the true picture, ie, indulging in the very same sharp practice of which I had accused Labour ministers. Read more
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