Police publish incorrect crime figures for Barking and Dagenham and London on website

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

Police data for crime in Barking and Dagenham over the past three years were published with the years the wrong way round, making the drop in crime look much smaller than 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 in Tower Hamlets used the figures to claim there was a nine per cent rise in crime there since 2010, despite a two per cent drop in crime across London.

The apparent spike in crime sent Tower Hamlets council into a panic after an inquiry by our sister paper, the East London Advertiser, until it was discovered by the borough’s police analyst that the computer had mixed up the years.

Last week the site recorded 18,782 crimes in Barking and Dagenham for 2012/13, but the new figures show only 17,240 crimes - 1,542 less than was published, and a drop of 10 per cent from 19,177 in 2010/11.

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

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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.”

She said the correct figures are now up on the website.

Barking and Dagenham Council welcomed the drop in crime which it said was the due to the work of its Community Safety Partnership. A spokesman said: “The crime prevention roadshows and anti-social behaviour work between the council and police have seen crime across the board reduce, making the borough safer for residents.

“Working together uses resources more efficiently, targets the right people in the right places and makes the borough safer for residents.”