Police publish incorrect crime figures for Tower Hamlets and London on website

EXCLUSIVE: Crime figures were incorrectly published on a Met police website due to a computer mix-up, the Advertiser can reveal.

Police data for crime in Tower Hamlets over the past three years were published with the years the wrong way round, making it look like crime had risen nine times higher than was accurate.

The crime figures for all London boroughs were also published incorrectly but have now been fixed on the police website.

The numbers bungle came to light after the Labour Party used the figures to claim there was a nine per cent rise in crime in Tower Hamlets since 2010, despite a two per cent drop in crime across London.

The apparent spike in crime sent the council into a panic after an inquiry by the Advertiser, until it was discovered by a police analyst for the borough that the computer had mixed up the years.

Last week the site recorded 29,510 crimes in Tower Hamlets for 2012/13, but the new figures show only 29,080 crimes - a rise of 1.4 per cent since 2010/11 but a much smaller one than was published online by the police.

Crime rose by nearly three per cent between 2010/11 and 2011/12 but has dropped 1.5 per cent so far this year.

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The Met police apologised for the mistake and said steps have been taken to ensure this does not happen again.

Carly Mellin, MPS Directorate of Information manager, said: “The data was updated by an automated procedure which failed to recognise the change from last reporting year to this one.

“The result was a presentation of the correct crime counts but an incorrect year label.”

Cllr Sirajul Islam, leader of the Labour group, said: “It is pretty worrying that the Met have made such a staggering mess of the most simple crime statistics.

“People need to be confident that figures on important issues such as this are accurate.”

He added that the new figures still showed a rise in crime in Tower Hamlets despite a drop in other east London boroughs.