Donald Trump has controversially linked an increase in recorded crime in the UK with the “spread of radical Islamic terror”.
Official figures, published on Friday, show forces in England and Wales had registered a total of 5.2 million offences in the year to June – a 13 per cent rise on the previous year.
The data release prompted the US president to tweet: “Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13 per cent annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.’ Not good, we must keep America safe!”
Several politicians and social media users were quick to point out Trump’s misinterpretation of the statistics, which include offences ranging from burglary to fraud.
“Please don’t mention us in your propaganda, we all hate you here,” UK author Aaron Gillies tweeted.
“As editor of UK’s police journal am astounded by this claim, however, rise partly due to sex crimes by those in authority being investigated,” Paul Lander wrote.
The Office for National Statistics report stated: “The 13 per cent increase in police recorded crime from previous year, reflects a range of factors including continuing improvements to crime recording and genuine increases in some crime categories, especially those that are well-recorded.”
The figures cover England and Wales, but not the whole of the UK as Trump incorrectly asserted, and of the 664 homicides reported, down 2 per cent on the previous year, 35 were related to the London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester terror attacks.
There was a 59 per cent rise in the number of attempted murder offences, according to the report. The ONS said the rise was largely due to the London and Manchester terror attacks, where police recorded 294 attempted murders.
Labour MP and chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, Yvette Cooper, said in a statement: “Hate crime in the UK has gone up by almost 30% and rubbish like this tweet from Donald Trump is designed to provoke even more of it.
“It is appalling that we have reached the point where inflammatory and ignorant statements from the President of the United States are now seen as normal.
“If we are to properly tackle hate crime and every other crime, we have to challenge this kind of nonsense.”
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said: “Donald Trump’s reactionary tweet isn’t just inaccurate, it’s also inflammatory.
“It’s about time that the British government take a stand against Trump’s bigotry, and make a clear public statement saying that his damaging remarks are unwelcome.”
Trump has previously sparked controversy with comments about extremism in Britain.
He prompted outrage while running for president by claiming the UK had a “massive Muslim problem” and stating that parts of London were “so radicalised” that police were “afraid for their own lives”.
David Cameron, who was then prime minister, described the comments as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”.