Shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, has today announced two key reforms to the handling of crime statisics which would be introduced by a Conservative Government.

Firstly, based on the premise that the public do not currently trust crime statistics, he has said that under a Conservative Government, they would no longer be compiled by the Home Office.

Instead, responsibility for compiling and publishing both recorded crime statistics and the British Crime Survey would be placed with the Office for National Statistics, whose work is deemed more trustworthy by the general public.

But there’s another reason for the change: to stop the Government from being able to manipulate and spin the figures, as was the case, for example, with the premature release of knife crime statistics last month. Sir Michael Scholar, the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, criticised the Government for that, resulting in Jacqui Smith having to apologise to Parliament.

So, secondly, the Conservatives would abolish the pre-release access that ministers, civil servants and special advisers have to such crime statistics.

Mr Grieve said:

"Labour have proved themselves serial manipulators of official statistics. Their obsession with covering up, rather than facing up to, problems has meant serious violent crime has only got worse. A new approach is required [which is why] we propose two radical reforms of crime statistics."