FactCheck assessed the MP’s claim using the latest data from the Grave Crimes Abstract (GCA) from the Sri Lanka Police and the Prison Statistics of Sri Lanka report 2019.
Exhibits 1 and 2 shows that the numbers provided by the MP are mostly correct, barring some small deviations. The numbers compared are misleading, however, because he was claiming an improvement during the 2015-2018 period; but using two of the three reference points from 2012, instead of 2014 to compare against 2018.
Using the 2014 statistics, the drop in the reported cases of (a) homicide, (b) rape/incest, and (c) total crimes is 10.8%, 10.8% and is 28.7% respectively. However, the numbers quoted by the MP suggest a drop of 24.7%, 19.2% and 29.4% respectively.
Therefore, while the MP’s numbers are correct, his reference year is wrong on two of the statistics. Using the correct reference years reveals that the percentage drop in homicide and rape/incest, to be around half of what is claimed by the MP. Nevertheless, the MP is right on the fact that all the statistics show a reduction. He is also approximately right on the claimed magnitude drop in total crimes.
Therefore, we classify his statement as PARTLY TRUE.
*FactCheck’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck will revisit the assessment*
Exhibit 1: Reported Cases of Crimes 2005-2018
Exhibit 2: Crime reduction post-2014
- Department of Prisons, Prison Statistics of Sri Lanka report (2019), p. 39, available at: http://www.prisons.gov.lk/Statistics/Statistics-2019.pdf
- Department of Prisons, Prison Statistics of Sri Lanka report (2013), p. 39, available at: http://prisons.gov.lk/Statistics/Statistics-2013.pdf
- Sri Lanka Police, Grave Crimes Abstract (2018), available at: https://www.police.lk/images/crime/2019/disposal_of_grave_crime_policedivision.pdf
- World Health Organisation, Understanding and addressed violence against women: sexual violence (2012), p. 1, available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/77434/WHO_RHR_12.37_eng.pdf;jsessionid=46A83DEC1693EFC3FE68DAE841BB7E71?sequence=1
- For the news article, see: https://www.dailynews.lk/2019/10/30/local/201390/drastic-drop-crime-rate-2015