Donald Trump cited “the spread of radical Islamic terror” as a cause of the rise in crime in England and Wales, a claim that British authorities say is not true, The Guardian is reporting.
In the early morning on Friday, Trump posted a tweet about the latest British crime statistics.
“Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.’ not good, we must keep America safe!”‘
And while it is true that the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) did issue a quarterly report that revealed a 13 percent rise in “police-recorded offences” in England and Wales, the report barely mentioned terrorism at all. In fact, terrorism was only mentioned in the context of the recorded rise in the number of murders in the regions. Specifically, the report was referring to separate terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, where 35 people were killed in two attacks.
The report did not link Islam or terrorism to the rise in gun crime, knife crime, robberies, sexual offences, stalking and harassment, burglary, and car crime in the region.
What’s more, according to The Washington Post, the statistical increase in crime can be attributed to a variety of factors. Namely, people are more likely to report crimes to police, the way crimes are categorized, and of course, more actual crimes being committed.
Trump’s tweet got mixed reactions in the U.K., and the responses were almost entirely along ideological lines.
For example, Liberal Democrat politician Jo Swinson accused the president of promoting fear.
Stop misleading and spreading fear. Hate crime is up and it is fuelled by the kind of populist xenophobia you peddle. https://t.co/TigSMTGTqU
— Jo Swinson (@joswinson) October 20, 2017
Similarly, Green Party politician Caroline Lucas called on Prime Minister Theresa May (a Conservative) to respond to Trump’s claims.
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) October 20, 2017
Others reminded Trump that the USA has a crime problem of its own, most notably highlighted by the Las Vegas massacre, during which 58 people were killed at a music festival.
Meanwhile, some on the right accused Trump of, if anything, understating the amount of crime supposedly caused by Islam and Muslims in the U.K.
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) October 20, 2017
Back in the U.S., according to the Post, military leaders have called on Trump to stop using the phrase “radical Islamic terror” because it alienates Muslims who would otherwise be inclined to help the U.S. in its anti-terror efforts.
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