Search

Shoplifters and vandals may dodge justice after police say probes ‘impractical’

PUBLISHED: 12:15 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:53 16 October 2017

Police at the scene of a crime. Picture: Ken Mears

Police at the scene of a crime. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

A senior police officer has said it is “not practical” for officers to investigate crimes such as shoplifting and criminal damage as his force bids to save £400 million.

The Metropolitan Police said new guidelines would mean officers could “determine very quickly if it is proportionate” to investigate “lower level, higher volume offences” further.

Deputy assistant commissioner Mark Simmons said the force had to work with fewer officers and less money, with the Crime Assessment Policy introduced to help prioritise resources.

He said: “Clearly this is not about letting criminals get away with crime, or not investigating the cases we are solving at the moment, if we thought it was, we simply would not do this.

“With the pressure on our resources it is not practical for our officers to spend a considerable amount of time looking into something where for example, the value of damage or the item stolen is under £50, or the victim is not willing to support a prosecution.

“We need our officers to be focused on serious crime and cases where there is a realistic chance that we will be able to solve it.”

Serious offences will continue to be investigated as before, Mr Simmons said.

He added: “Of course we are not talking about things like homicide, kidnap, sexual offences, hate crime or domestic violence, but the lower level, higher volume offences such as shoplifting, car crime and criminal damage.

“This is not to say these cases will not be investigated further, however by applying the assessment policy we will be able to determine very quickly if it is proportionate to do so.”

Under the new policy 150,000 fewer offences will be investigated every year, according to reports.

Ex-Met detective chief inspector Mick Neville told the Sun: “This is justice dreamed up by bean counters in shiny suit land.

“No consideration is being given to victims. The new principles will focus police attention on easy crimes where there is a known suspect.

“Few professional criminals target people who know them, so the worst villains will evade justice. Not investigating high volume crimes like shoplifting with a loss of under £50 will give junkies a green light to thieve.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

15:42

Today, it’s the pricey trampoline park that has the Sobell in the headlines. Four (and a bit) decades ago, it opened amid similar protests about how much it would cost. In between, it played a crucial role in Britain’s decision to join and then leave the EEC and the EU. The Gazette chats to 1970s Sobell manager Hywel Griffiths.

14:09

Ever had that feeling when you’re the only one not invited to the party?

11:57

Jermain Jackman is relentless. This activist/musician/student is not your typical reality TV winner. He tells the Gazette what drives him.

12:28

In a weekly feature, we profile a fascinating company doing business here in Islington. This week, the Gazette was intrigued, to say the least, about a Nag’s Head Market stall selling vegan Korean/Italian fusion food. We visited Vegan Yes.

10:29

A young violinist from Archway has described the moment she was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) as like “a dream come true”.

09:15

A beekeeper had to deal with 60,000 bees which had settled on top of a Canonbury house.

Police have launched an appeal to help trace a missing vulnerable man who was last seen in Islington, headed in the direction of Highgate.

Lee Jay Hatley’s alleged murderer was “jealous” of his long-term friend, a court heard today.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now