What I like about Mark Easton is that he doesn't take any shit.
He's no doubt been on the receiving end of dozens of angry emails since trying to point out that knife crime might not quite be such an epidemic as we've been led to believe it is by certain other news outlets. The snipers have doubtless been out for him. The reactionary tabloids have continued with their 'oh noes! we're all going to be stabbed by evil knife-wielding bastards (and quite a lot of them are black)' rhetoric throughout the summer, dovetailing in nicely with Tory rhetoric on 'broken Britain' and how it's all the poor's fault for being poor and frequently not white, and therefore inherently criminal.
Easton, meanwhile, has continued looking at the data. You get the impression that if it backed up the alternative argument, he'd be the first to say it. But he would appear to have the suspicion that there are other motives and agendas at work over the 'knife crime epidemic'.
So he's back again today with yet more analysis of more information on knife crime. Facts that you may well not see in your reactionary tabloid of choice. Facts that may well lead you to a different conclusion from the one that you're being told to make by certain sections of the press and certain political groups to meet their own agendas.
Some will dismiss [these falls in the London crime figures] them as nonsense, preferring to judge the state of violent crime in London on the basis of what they read in the paper or hear in the local pub.
But there is one statistic that we can all accept the police are not in a position to massage - the murder rate.
In the year to July 2007, there were 175 murders in the capital. The subsequent 12 months saw 154 - 21 FEWER. One murder would still be too many but the figures make a mockery of the claims that life is becoming cheaper in London.
This kind of investigative journalism, cutting through the crap, not pandering to a pre-prescribed political slant, is the perfect argument for the BBC licence fee. It's also worth bearing in mind, when you see the BBC targeted as 'leftie' by certain sections of the press, whether they will report these figures as accurately or as responsibly, just because they go against a pre-determined editorial line.
We'll see. But I have a fair idea.