The Met has five years to cut a billion pounds from its budget, and low-level crime is bearing the brunt of it. Former police officers have slammed the policy as “justice dreamed up by bean-counters”.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service), Mark Simmons, indicated that if something was stolen worth less than £50, it would be unlikely to be investigated due to a new “Crime Assessment Policy” aimed at slashing budgets.
In an article on the Met website, he confirmed that petty crimes such as shoplifting, burglary, or car vandalization will not be investigated except in cases where a suspect has already been fingered by the victim.
Scotland Yard has been tasked with saving £400m by 2020 from the MPS budget, in addition to a £600 million cut that was previously applied.
Mick Neville, a former Met DCI, told the Sun it would, “give junkies a green light to thieve”.
In other London news, a gang of moped raiders has been terrorising London residents, leading to a crack unit of ex-special forces and police being brought in.
Figures from the Met show that there have been 8,000 crimes involving mopeds and scooters last year, over eight times what there were in 2014.
The West End is the focus of many of these scooter-riding thugs, especially around the jewellery stores in the district. A particular incident at a Mappin & Webb on Regent Street resulted in a moped gang attempting a ride-by smash and grab raid on the store’s display window. The attack was foiled by the security glass of the case, and when a member of the unit of security company UK Protection, chased them away.
The privately-run security team includes members who have seen action in war zones abroad, and other former military and police members. They operate on an undercover basis to detect fraud and theft when not thwarting high-profile raids.
The moped gangs are extremely dangerous, often armed with swords or machetes, but thanks to the heroic actions of the crack security team, the West End has become a safer place to shop and visit.