Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Bus crime up 8% in H&F, Boris accused of fiddling figures

Bus crime in our Borough has soared by 8% despite an overall fall of 4% across London according to TfL figures which have had to be pieced together by a member of the London Assembly following resistance from the Mayor's office to releasing the statistics.

Dave Hill of the Grauniad recently wrote about bus crime which Boris Johnson has hailed as one of his major achievements as Mayor and features in his latest edition of a pravda style newspaper for each London Borough. (Unlike H&F News/Fulham Chronicle at least these pravdas are not paid for by the taxpayer).

Speaking to the Evening Standard in February this year Boris said that passengers are "fundamentally safe" as he unveiled figures showing that crime fell 30 per cent on the buses and 20 per cent on the Tube over the past three years.

But unspin the numbers and you realise that not only did the overall fall start under Mayor Livingstone, but you also note that crime has actually risen in a third of London Boroughs, including H&F. 

In fact so dodgy were the numbers from the Mayor that the following month, less trumpeted by the media, The UK Statistics Authority wrote to the Mayor to criticise his use of transport crime figures, after pointed out that they were being used in press releases without being made available to the public.

A letter from the Authority's Chairman, Sir Michael Scholar, stated that the Mayor's use of the numbers could be “damaging to public trust in the statistics.” That's what happens when you use propaganda. (Again, H&F News/Fulham Chronicle please note)

And this month the Mayor's office have failed to provide a breakdown of crime figures to Liberal Democrat Leader on the London Assembly Caroline Pidgeon, who asked for them on the 18th May, saying that they were unavailable despite actually being available elsewhere and showing that crime was on the rise in the following London boroughs:
  • Barking and Dagenham (by a whacking 17.8%)
  • Greenwich
  • Harrow
  • Havering
  • Hillingdon
  • Hammersmith (by 8%)
  • Islington
  • Merton (by 9.4%)
  • Southwark
  • Westminster
  • Tower Hamlets (by 11.5%)
This, of course, all takes place in the context of cuts to the police budget across London and here in H&F, with our local Safer Neighbourhood Teams being shrunk.

So we have a rising crime rate on our buses in the borough and of course a frankly horrible month which has just passed which saw the shooting dead of a man in Lakeside Road and the stabbing of a 14 year old in Hammersmith bus station.

Expect cuts to the police to continue to be a theme of this blog at least between now and the next Mayoral election. You might not read about it elsewhere.


  1. I've read the Dave Hill article. Crime is down, it says, even if not by as much (in certain categories) as Boris says. Boris seems to be taking credit for falls that took place before he became mayor, too. I guess we already knew that politicians could be a bit slippery.

    But crime is still down, however you count it. That's a good thing, isn't it?

  2. Is it just me or does Stephen Greenhalgh look like a character out of Animal Farm??

  3. Are you suggesting the Pravdas are funded out of Boris's own pocket? Otherwise it must come back to taxes, no?

  4. no - Boris' own private backers funded these so no tax payers money involved. That to me is completely fair enough, it's their money after all!