In my last post, I mentioned that Simon Smith, aka Cap’n Freedom – see the link in the last post to a selection of insane rambling on Stormfront – was interviewed the other day by the BBC – and here’s the interview, during which he made the following claim…
Immigration and crime are the same thing. In West Bromwich and Smethwick we have the highest crime rates. Where we’ve got a more indigenous population and in Wednesbury we have lower crime figures. Multiculturalism doesn’t work.
Unfortunately for Cap’n Freedom, not only is he talking bollocks but Sandwell Council has, by local government standards, a first-rate research unit with it own website called Research Sandwell, which makes it very, very easy to check the facts behind Smith’s remarks – which makes it stupidly easy to prove that he’s talking bollocks.
Let’s start with some very basic general demographics – at the last Census the demographic split between Sandwell’s white and non-white populations was 79.7% white, 20.3% non-white -for the purposes of this exercise, the detailed breakdown of the non-white population is of no real consequence.
Next, you need to understand a little about how Sandwell is divided up for administrative and statistical purposes. Sandwell is made up, administratively, of Six Towns – ranging from the smallest, Tipton and Wednesbury, which comprise 3 local authority wards each, to the largest, West Bromwich, which is made of six wards.
In 2001, Sandwell also went through an exercise in defining, for statistical purposes amongst other things, 79 local neighbourhoods, the upshot of which is that one can get a very detailed picture of social and other conditions for areas of Sandwell at a much ‘lower’ level than the usual local authority ward – down to populations of between 1,000 and 3,000 people rather than the 9-10,000 that make up a ward. A ‘neighbourhood’ in this context is what you could consider a ‘natural’ community, a estate/area smaller than a ward that shares common amenities and common community life sufficient to define it as a discreet ‘district’ in its own right.
So thanks to this – and to the work of Research Sandwell -its possible to pinpoint everything from crime hotspots to unemployment blackspots to areas that are desperately short of amenities, and all at a very local level.
If you’ve followed all that then it should be clear that what we have to play with, in terms of Cap’n Freedom’s claims about crime and immigration in Sandwell, is an overall figure for the size of Sandwell’s white and non-white population and, for each of 79 neighbourhoods, the same breakdown between white and non-white plus the crime rate for each of these neighbourhoods, based on the most recent figures (which are for 2004 and were published in 2005).
Let’s start then, with the picture for the borough as a whole and, specifically, the 13 neighbourhoods with the highest crime rates.
What we find is that, of these 13 areas, four lie within either Wednesbury or Tipton – the areas that Smith claims have the lowest crime rates because they have the largest ‘indigenous’ populations – Harvill’s Hawthorn, in Wednesbury, has the 2nd worst crime rate in the borough, while Glebefields, the Tibbington Estate and Princes End – all in Tipton – are respectively the 9th, 11th and 13th worst places for crime in Sandwell.
With regards to Smethwick and West Bromwich, which are supposedly the high crime areas due to immigration, we find that Smethwick accounts for 2 of the top 13, and West Bromwich three of the top 13 – and its also the case that these five areas all show a much higher non-white population than the borough average, ranging from 44% right up to 72% in the case of Cape Hill – which is actually 10 minutes walk from where I live.
For starters, the raw stats here are that Tipton and Wednesbury, combined, make up 24% of the 79 defined neighbourhoods in Sandwell, and 30% of the top 13 neighbourhoods for crime – Smethwick and West Bromwich combined make 48% of neighbourhoods but only 38% of the top 13 for crime.
However, these five areas are the only areas in the top 13 to have a larger than average non-white population – in the case of all the other 8 areas in the top 13 from crime, it is the white population that is larger than the borough average, ranging from 82.9% in Black Lake South, West Bromwich to 95.5% in the Glebefields area of Tipton. In reality, 6 of 13 areas with the highest crime rates in Sandwell have a white population in excess of 89% of the total population of the area, and in the case of the three areas of Tipton in the top 13, all have a white population in excess of 94%.
What was that about crime and immigration going together, Cap’n?
Things become even clearer if we focus just on Tipton – the town in which Smith is one of three BNP councillors. Tipton is made up of 10 neighbourhoods, of which only two have a larger than (Sandwell) average non-white population, one of which is the Park Estate, which become known a while back as the home of the so-called ‘Tipton Taliban’ and has the largest non-white population in the town (44%). It also has the third lowest crime rate in the town, and ranks 52nd out of 79 neighbourhoods in Sandwell (1st being the highest crime rate, 79th the lowest).
There is, from the statistics, no correlation whatsoever between immigration – as expressed by the size of the non-white population – and crime in Tipton. The four areas with the highest crime rates in the town; Glebefields, Tibbington, Princes End and Ocker Hill, are four of the five areas with the largest ‘indigenous’ white population, of between 94 and 95.5%.
The other area with white population in excess of 94% – Gospel Oak – actually has the lowest crime rate in the town, with the second lowest being Toll End, with a white population of 85%.
What makes these areas different to the four, overwhelmingly white areas at the top of crime rates for the town is, in fact stupidly obvious – Gospel Oak and Toll End have the lowest crime rates and the highest rate of two parent families, owner-occupancy, economic activity (i.e employment) and lowest number of households with no adults in work and/or in the D/E social class.
I’ll leave you with one last set of stats to chew over.
The economic demographics for the Park Estate – which has a 44% non-white population and rank 52nd in terms of crime are actually worse in terms of economic activity, households with no adults in employment and D/E social class than Glebefields, which is 95.5% white and has the 9th highest crime rate in Sandwell and the highest in Tipton.