18 cameron r w Cameron and the sweltering sunlight of disinfectant

David Cameron came to Hammersmith Police station in West London to proclaim another fall in crime levels – 9% overall by the most trusted measure.

But the same people who compile these stats say crime has actually been falling since 1995, which would mean by my reckoning that when David Cameron was slamming Labour’s record on law and order in the run up to the 2010 general election, crime was consistently falling.

The Police Federation (on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme) said they didn’t believe the stats.

The Police Inspectors’ body said there weren’t enough police around to record crime and that might explain what is going on.

In fact, across the developed world, something more interesting is going on with crime levels and no-one’s entirely sure why. Is it falling domestic violence or electronic goods’ falling prices?

Is it the march of progress or the diversion of x-box? No-one seems to know. The Prime Minister primarily credits smart policing.

I also asked Mr Cameron about the allegation that Lynton Crosby, his political strategist, was party to the decision to drop the plain packaging for tobacco law from the Queen’s Speech.

Had they ever discussed it? Did it matter if Lynton Crosby’s company was contracted to tobacco companies?

Did he think it right to ask about separate interests? Did he basically assume Lynton Crosby was perfectly capable of wearing two hats?

You can see the exchanges here:

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UPDATE: Contacted by Channel 4 News, Deborah Mattinson responded to the prime minister’s claim that her role in relation to the former Labour government had been no different to that of Lynton Crosby today, saying:

“When I was advising the PM I was very careful to make sure there was no conflict of interest in terms of my client portfolio…and the opposition DID make a fuss! All the time!”