Frasier Nelson has a scoop here.
In December the Government released some misleading knife crime figures. In an email trail Dr Matt Cavanagh emails the ONS telling them of the line that the Government would like to use. The statistics that were released by the government were knowingly inaccurate.
"Here is the statement that the PM would like us to publish tomorrow as part of the knife crime announcement"
The ONS replied and were very clear. The statistics should not be used and the reasons cited are that they were,
"potentially inaccurate and may possibly give the wrong impression"
The emails continue to go back and forth but the ONS were told,
"I have also been informed that Number 10 are adamant about the need to publish this statistic. As a result, I have been informed that they are likely to publish the data irrespective of the concerns raised"
In a December press release The Home Office announced that there had been a 27% fall in stab wound hospital admissions. They also claimed,
"fewer teenagers carrying knives, fewer young people carrying knives, fewer offenders getting off with a caution, more people going to prison".
When asked repeatedly for the raw data behind these announcements, the Home Office would only ever say that they would be published in due course.
The nett result is that the Home Office and Number 10 used selective statistics and deliberately ignored proper checks so as to manipulate a political advantage. They did so with numbers involving violent crime amongst people they are supposed to be representing. In fact, as Frasier points out it is so Gordon Brown could attend a photo-call with the relatives of the victims of knife crime.
People within those statistics died, but the Government decided it was more important that they lie to look good, and make political gain. This, rather than acknowledge the real extent of a very serious problem that is happening whilst they control the levers of power.
The statistics when released actually showed an overall rise in knife crimes. Is there a single minister or department left within HM Government that isn't lying to or cheating money from the tax payer? I can't think of one.