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Daily Mail corrects inaccurate EU crime stats report

by Luke Lythgoe | 23.05.2016

InFacts published a dossier on 19 May entitled “Press’ hateful 8 stories from Brexit debate”. It featured eight of the most egregious stories which have appeared in The Telegraph, Mail Online, Daily Mail and Express since the EU referendum campaign began.

We have since lodged complaints with the press watchdog, the Independent Press Complaints Organisation (IPSO). The one exception is The Daily Mail, which engaged in a dialogue about its inaccurate article saying EU migrants were guilty of 700 crimes a week. It has now corrected the article both in print and online.

The Daily Mail’s original report was wrong because it misinterpreted figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council. In its letter releasing the numbers, the NPCC made clear they were “NOT conviction data”. Rather it looks at “notifications” by the UK to other countries when their citizens are convicted, appeal their convictions, break their court orders or if there are any other updates on their convictions.

Correction in newspaper

The newspaper correction, which appeared this morning on page two under the headline “clarifications & corrections” read: “In common with other newspapers, an article on February 17 said that criminal ‘convictions’ for EU migrants had gone up by 40% in five years with 700 being found guilty every week. In fact, as the article went on to explain, the figures related to ‘notifications’, which include breaches of court orders and appeals as well as convictions.”

Correction in Daily Mail

Online corrections

The Daily Mail publishes its stories on the Mail Online but has a different editorial team to Mail Online. The original online headline read: “Criminal convictions for EU migrants leap by 40% in five years: 700 found guilty every week in the UK but less than 20,000 foreign criminals have been deported”

Daily Mail original headline EU migrant stats

The Mail amended its online headline to read: “Criminal notifications for EU migrants leap by 40% in five years: now there are 700 every week in the UK but less than 20,000 foreign criminals have been deported” [our bold]

Daily Mail corrected online headline EU migrant crime stats

An explanation of notification data was included in the introductory bullet-point list, stating: “Notifications are made to other countries when their citizens are convicted, appeal their convictions or break their court orders”

A large table listing the “top ten” EU nationalities “convicted of crimes” was removed.

Throughout the article other references to “criminal cases” and EU migrants “convicted of crimes” were replaced with the word “notifications”.

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Other papers

In its “hateful 8” dossier, InFacts identified 13 inaccurate articles. This is more than eight because, in some cases, more than one paper made the same error. InFacts made 11 separate complaints to IPSO. It did not report The Daily Mail, because it was engaged in a constructive dialogue. It also did not report The Telegraph in relation to a false story saying that an EU law chief had ruled Abu Hamza’s daughter-in-law could not be deported. IPSO had already forced the paper to make a correction.

Eleven stories in the dossier remain uncorrected. Two of them – in The Telegraph and Express – relate to the same mistake The Daily Mail made in connection with the crime statistics. We are writing to the two papers, copying IPSO, pointing out that The Daily Mail has made its correction and encouraging them to make prompt corrections.

Edited by Hugo Dixon