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Charlie Beckett

April 16th, 2008

The real migrant crime myth

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Charlie Beckett

April 16th, 2008

The real migrant crime myth

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The Guardian and BBC are both reporting figures that ‘disprove’ the ‘migrant crime myth’.  The allegation is that immigrants have been portrayed as more criminal than they really are. Papers like the Mail have even been threatened with legal action by community groups who feel that they have been misrepresented by sections of the British media.

New figures from the police themselves show that this is not true, says the liberal media. An ACPO survey shows that migrants actually commit the same amount of crime as everyone else – proportionally. But for me, that actually justifies the ‘myth’.

The police have demanded more resources to deal with migrant crime. They are right.

If you have one million more people and they commit the same amount of crime as the ‘native’ population then that means you have one million more people’s worth of crime. That is a crime wave if it happens within a short space of time. And in certain places such as Newham in London where migrants have arrived in greater numbers then the proportionate increase in crime must be even more pronounced.

So the racists/xenophobes may be wrong, but so are those who make wholly benevolent assumptions about migration. Headlines such as “Migrant crime wave a myth” are just as partial in their use of statistics as those that warn that “Eastern European Immigrants Carry Out Ten Per Cent Of Crime”.

Of course this report has not yet been published in full. It still has to go through the editing process at the Home Office. It is interesting that this version of it playing down the problem has been leaked just in time to calm public fears before the local elections.

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Charlie Beckett

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