Actually, this is only latterly about the Desmond Press, as the story begins at the Maily Telegraph and only reached the Express after stopping off at the Daily Mail. But it’s excellent Express material: the EU and crime coming together, better to frighten the dwindling readership and maybe prevent them realising their money might be better spent elsewhere.
And the Express has managed in addition a display of pure invention, to which I’ll return later. But first the supposed story: that 27,000 EU citizens who were not British were convicted during 2010 of an offence in the UK. The Telegraph also tells of “crime committed here by all foreigners ... almost doubled in two years”, while managing not to mention that the EU figure actually fell slightly between 2009 and 2010.
So is this such a big deal? Well, the recorded crime figures for the 12 months to September 2010 show that over 4,223,000 crimes were recorded. The detection rate for offences is less easy to get a handle on, but the Telegraph noted back in 2008 that the 2006-7 figure was around 30%. Applying that to the total crime number gives us around 1.267 million.
So the EU citizens’ contribution to total crime appears to be just over 2% of the total. Here I bring in an information source from which no Euro-hating hack will dissent: Migration Watch UK. They tell that (this is Q4 2008 figures) of a total UK labour force of 25.6 millions, just over 1 million are from other EU member states. That comes out at around 4%.
Therefore, those from other EU member states appear to be committing crimes at just over half the rate of the rest of the population of the UK. Far from wanting to deport them (as hacks from the Telegraph, Mail and Express suggest), we should be looking for more such people (I’m assuming that labour force proportions are indicative of the total population).And that Express whopper? Macer Hall’s story tells of “Figures released by the Association of Chief Police Officers following a Freedom of Information request”, which sounds OK until you realise that ACPO will not be subject to the Freedom of Information Act until October 2011.