Donald Trump has suggested the reported rise in crime in England and Wales is due to the "spread of Radical Islamic terror", despite British statisticians providing a completely different explanation.
The president of the United States made the unsubstantiated claim in a tweet on Friday morning, saying the UK crime figures show "we must keep America safe!".
Official British statisticians said the rise was due to both an increase in crime and an improved logging of incidents by the police.
"While improvements made by police forces in recording crime are still a factor in the increase, we judge that there have been genuine increases in crime, particularly in some of the low-incidence but more harmful categories," a spokesperson for UK's Office for National Statistics said prior to Trump's tweet.
The explanation offered by British statisticians made no reference to the impact of Islamic extremism.
BuzzFeed News has contacted the National Statistics Authority and the Home Office for comment.
It is unclear how the president encountered the crime figures, released by the ONS on Thursday, as they were not widely covered in the US media. One suggestion, put forward by the Media Matters blog, is that he was watching the One America News Network at around 6.25am, when it carried a similar report.
Confusingly, there are two sets of crime figures produced in England and Wales.
The first one, referenced by Trump, is produced by the ONS and is based on the number of crimes logged by British police forces. It shows a 13% increase in the number of crimes to 5.2 million in the 12 months to June.
The second set of figures is produced the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which asks 38,000 people whether they have experienced crime in the last year, regardless of whether it has been reported to police. These figures, also released on Thursday, showed a decline in crime to 10.8 million incidents during the same period.
Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Jim Waterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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