Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman on crime figures mix-up

Lutfur Rahman

Lutfur Rahman - Credit: Archant

The Mayoral and local council elections are approaching, so I rather expect that some of the claims from my opponents are going to become, how should we say, more ‘‘robust’’.

But following an admission by the Metropolitan Police that they had got their crime figures for Tower Hamlets the “wrong way round” for the past three years, I would like to think that Labour’s John Biggs will be eating some humble pie.

For the mistake only emerged after research was conducted by my office – because frankly I did not believe those figures.

Crime is falling in our borough. It is not rising.

The extra £2 million I found to fund extra police officers in the borough provides one of those reasons as is the £2.2 million we have invested in Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers (THEOS).

The apparent spike in crime in Tower Hamlets occurred after the police admitted that they had got their figures the ‘‘wrong way around’’.

This error was immediately challenged by me, but only after London Assembly member, John Biggs and the Labour Party had trumpeted the wrong figures, with great fanfare, to this newspaper.

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Particularly embarrassing for John Biggs is the revelation that crime has fallen further in Tower Hamlets than in Hackney and Newham.

The question surely is; what is John Biggs doing to put pressure on London Mayor Boris Johnson to make sure that crime is being brought down in other east London boroughs?

By all means let’s have some honest debate, but let us all try and do so when the facts are properly established.

Instead of trying to score cheap political points and frightening local residents into the bargain, John Biggs could have tried to establish the truth.

The police have acknowledged that they made an honest mistake but it is high time that John now apologises for trying to exploit the situation for his own political ends and getting it so spectacularly wrong.