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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
City rejects crime capital label
Politicians, police and university leaders have rejected a report that says Nottingham is the most dangerous city in England.

Nottingham North MP Graham Allen said the report was based on "sloppy, error-riddled London-based research".

Think tank Reform said the city had nearly four times as many crimes per 1,000 people as Southend, in Essex.

The city has seen several high-profile killings, including the drive-by murder of teenager Danielle Beccan in 2004.

The facts make clear that Nottingham is getting safer and that gun crime, for example, is falling dramatically
University spokesman Jonathan Ray

Mr Allen said the study was based on flawed statistics as it included a tightly drawn boundary for Nottingham compared to other cities where suburbs and parkland were included.

Nottingham's city boundaries exclude more affluent areas near the city such as West Bridgford.

The report gathered statistics from police forces using the Freedom of Information Act and took population data from the 2001 Census.

"The snapshot is five years out of date," Mr Allen said.

City council leader Jon Collins said: "The description as the UK's most dangerous city does not describe the Nottingham that I, or the vast majority of people who live and work here, recognise. We are proud of our city and feel safe in it."

A city council statement said the report's population figures for Nottingham excluded the Clifton neighbourhood - however it included the crimes committed in that area.

It said this error skewed the results - and the city's ranking in the murder category would fall from first to third if the correct population figures were used.

Mr Collins called for Reform to withdraw the "flawed" report before it did "further damage to Nottingham, its businesses, its universities and its reputation".

According to the report, Nottingham had 115 crimes per 1,000 people in 2005 compared to just 30 in Southend, Essex and 32 in Poole, Dorset.

'Wake-up call'

Reform said its findings were based on a comparison of seven types of offences - murder, robbery, rape, burglary, vehicle crime, gun crime and assault - in urban areas with populations over 100,000.

Blair Gibbs, of Reform, said the statistics were "authoritative" and the report was easy for the public to understand.

"There are serious problems in Nottingham but there are also problems in Greater Manchester, Oldham and Bradford."

He described the report as a "wake-up call" and urged the city to use it as a catalyst for change.

University of Nottingham spokesman Jonathan Ray said: "It is easy to revisit lurid and exaggerated stories when work like this is put forward - but the facts make clear that Nottingham is getting safer, and that gun crime, for example, is falling dramatically."

Mr Allen said recent figures from Nottinghamshire police showed there were 66 firearms incidents two years ago, compared to 11 last year.

"Nottingham is challenging the lazy, stereotyping of pseudo research and misleading reporting which has become part of the problem rather than part of the answer," Mr Allen said.

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