President Donald Trump incorrectly suggested there is a link Friday between rising crime rates in the United Kingdom and the “spread of Radical Islamic terror.”
“Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.’ Not good, we must keep America safe!” the President tweeted.
But although Trump was correct in asserting that there had been a 13% rise in “victim-based crime” in the UK in the year ending June 2017 compared to the year before, there was no evidence that the rise was linked to “Radical Islamic terror.”
The Office for National Statistics – which compiled the report, “Crime in England and Wales: year ending June 2017” – told CNN it did not draw any link between the rise in “victim-based crime” and “Radical Islamic terror.”
Even counting the 35 people killed in the Manchester and London terror attacks over the past 12 months, the murder rate was down 2% on the previous year. However, the number of attempted murders rose by 59%, the report found, with 69% of that increase a result of the two terror attacks.
The greatest rises came in the categories of “stalking and harassment,” robbery and motor vehicle theft.
ONS statistician John Flatley said the numbers probably represent both an increase in crime incidents and improvements in police recording of crimes.
“We judge that there have been genuine increases in crime – particularly in some of the low incidence but more harmful categories,” he said in a statement accompanying the report.
ONS also notes that overall crime figures are down from where they were a decade ago, including an 18% fall in victim-based crime.
UK politicians were unimpressed with Trump’s tweet.
Opposition Labour party lawmaker Tulip Siddiq simply wrote: “Delete your account.”
Trump has previously cited terror incidents in the UK to bolster his position that tougher terrorism policies and his travel ban are needed in the US.
Last month, he railed against “loser terrorists” behind the London Tube explosion and suggested that the perpetrator was known to authorities and recruited on the Internet, prompting British Prime Minister Theresa May and a London police spokesperson to publicly rebuke the President.
And in June, soon after news reports surfaced about the London Bridge terror attacks, he seized on the moment to promote the travel ban.
In contrast, the President has been less willing to condemn domestic terrorist incidents in the US, most notably the white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the summer that left one woman dead.