THE Daily Express has a wonderful example of how to use a figure to create a false impression in the 'Have Your Say' section 'Are you fed up with the benefit system being abused?'

Of course, this question isn't about benefits, but is actually about immigration. Toward the end of the intro article is this:
Mr Steen revealed that the number of Romanian criminals had soared by a staggering 786 per cent in London alone [...]
Wow! 786 percent in London alone! Imagine how higher it must have soared across Britain if it's 786 percent in London alone.

Luckily, we don't have to. The paper told us a couple of weeks ago in the story I covered in 'The Daily Express continues courting the BNP'. It's 530 percent.

That would be less.

Of course, the paper tried to pretend that the 530 percent was total migrant crime - so maybe the hack responsible got mixed up.

So mixed up that they didn't notice that Mr Steen didn't reveal this figure. The police did. Six months ago. Lucky that, since six month old news isn't as scary.

*Update* These figures are bizarre. Somehow, London's figures are higher than the total for the entire country. The Express report quoted 922 total crimes committed by Romanians in the UK in six months, whereas the London figures show 1,086. Since we know the London ones cover January to June last year, could it be that the 922 figure represents a later period, which would mean a drop in crime by Romanians?

*Another update* Or could one or both of the sets of figures be made up? A while back, I made an FOI request to Kent police about the nationality of offenders in alleged racial attacks in the area. They said this:
There is no requirement for the police to record the nationality of offenders, nor do the police have any purpose in doing so.
Where the nationalities have been recorded in crime reports, it would appear [...]
So the police don't have to record offenders' nationalities. Where then do these confident figures of rises in Romanian crime come from? If they're genuine, could the rises be attributed to officers being more likely to record Romanian nationality after Romania's accession? Has the Daily Express sent out FOI requests to every police force in the UK?

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