Dear Sir David,

I am writing to express my concern over comments made by the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer QC MP, in the House of Commons, to the media and on social media on Wednesday 28 April 2021 and Thursday 29 April 2021.

During Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday 28 April 2021 Sir Keir claimed that ‘crime is going up’. He repeated this claim in a clip to the media and finally he tweeted a video of his remarks in the Chamber.

These claims are false and conflict with official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) is the most reliable measure of trends in crime. Between the year ending June 2019 and the beginning of lockdown (year ending March 2020), the Survey estimated a significant 9% reduction in crime. Underlying this were significant falls in theft (12%) and criminal damage (13%).

Since the pandemic began, the ONS quarterly publication has reported based on findings from a Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) and police recorded crime. The ONS have made clear that TCSEW estimates are not directly comparable with estimates derived from the face-to-face Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

The public have a right not to be misled, especially with regard to a subject as emotive and important as crime. I request that you investigate the Leader of the Labour Party’s claims and issue the necessary censure should you decide that his comments were misleading.

Yours sincerely,

Kit Malthouse

Minister of State in the Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Related links:

Letter from Sir David Norgrove to Sir Keir Starmer – Crime Statistics

Response from Sir David Norgrove to Kit Malthouse – Crime Statistics