Since receiving a letter from Peter Carroll telling me that violent crime is on the rise, he has bizarrely maintained that he is correct.
To back up the evidence from the British Crime Survey which clearly shows that violent crime has fallen dramatically since 1995, I wrote to the Chief Constable and have now received confirmation that: "Mid Kent Police Area was showing a financial year reduction of violent crime by 11.6% at the end of September 2008 compared to the same period last year."
Mr Carroll's comments that he is trying to reflect how people feel and that he is not trying to raise the level of fear simply do not wash. His statement was unequivocable: "violent crime is on the rise", it was not "people are worrying more and more about violent crime" or "many people are worried about".
I also suppose you have to ask what changed over the last 10 months. In Dec last year, the Lib Dems proclaimed: "Crime Down Under Liberal Democrat Leadership". I accept that they were talking about overall crime with that statement, but if violent crime was rising then (which it wasn't), why not mention it.
Forget the facts, why not change the story to suit the purpose?