Cops attack MP over crime claim

Lancaster's claim was "extremely misleading"

Police have attacked a claim by North East Milton Keynes MP Mark Lancaster on city violence as "extremely misleading".

He said in statement supporting Tory crime-fighting plans that there were 6,015 "violent attacks" in Milton Keynes last year, contributing to a 236 per cent increase in violence over the past 10 years.

But Milton Keynes Police acting command unit commander Nikki Ross said the MP's statement was "extremely misleading" and the figure he had given included "everything from public order offences, to harassment, to allowing a dog to be out of control in a public place.

"The actual number of people who were victims of serious violence was 81.

"In addition there were 2,042 people who suffered a low level assault where minor injury was caused.

"It is also important to point out that this figure includes incidents of domestic assault, which can happen behind closed doors and not out on the street."

There had been a rise in the number of "low level" assaults since April

and police were "working closely with our partners to ensure Milton Keynes remains a safe place".

Overall MK crime was down by two per cent.

Mr Lancaster said he had quoted figures on the Home Office website.

"If those figures are misleading then I would work with the police to ensure that accurate figures are given and not misleading ones," he added.

"The last thing I want to do is fall out with the police who are doing a great job."

He said the Tories would give people in Milton Keynes greater protection if they had to defend themselves against intruders in their homes, or if they stop a crime being committed in the street.

The party would also grant Milton Keynes Council new powers to fight booze-fuelled antisocial behaviour in the city and stop supermarkets selling alcohol at below cost price, which it says is destroying law-abiding pubs and driving low-level crime.

The Tory manifesto also pledges to "replace the invisible and unaccountable Thames Valley Police Authority," making the police properly accountable to a directly elected person.

Council cabinet member for communities, Councillor Vanessa McPake, said Safety MK group counted violent crime as a top priority.