In his statement, President Maithripala Sirisena provided data on reported cases of homicide and rape for the period 2008-2018.
We assessed the accuracy of the President’s statement using data available on the Sri Lanka Police Department’s website. The figures quoted by the President in his statement and the data available on the Police Department website have been provided in the tables below.
Regarding the number of reported homicides, the President provides data from 2008 onwards. Police Department’s figures indicate that despite some oscillation in the numbers from 2008 to 2017, there has been a clear decreasing trend over this time period. Therefore, the data substantiates the President’s claim that the number of reported homicides has decreased over time.
Regarding the number of reported cases of rape, the President provides data from 2012 onwards. Upon checking, we found that the Police Department website did not have crime statistics data for the whole year of 2012, so we could not fact-check the President’s figure. To be consistent with the period for which we checked homicide figures, we checked the Police figures for the number of rape cases from 2008 to 2017. The data shows that there is no decreasing trend in the numbers from 2008 to 2017. In fact, the data shows an increasing trend in the numbers between 2008 and 2016. Therefore, the data does not substantiate the President’s claim that the number of reported cases of rape has decreased over the past three years.
Taking all of this information into account, we have categorised the President’s statement as “Partly True”.
- Crime Statistics, Sri Lanka Police: https://www.police.lk/index.php/crime-trends