Declining numbers of police officers in London have forced the city’s Metropolitan force to give up investigating certain types of crimes, according to The London Times.
The U.K.’s largest force no longer bothers to look into thousands of minor offenses, and it ignores crimes such as vandalism, vehicle crime and fuel theft, depending on the amount of damages.
Police also no longer investigate crimes if officers have to watch CCTV for more than 20 minutes or if there is no footage available, according to Breitbart.
However, “hate crimes” still are fully investigated, as are more serious crimes such as homicides and sexual assaults.
This is all part of the police force’s new “crime assessment policy,” which has been in effect since September. The policy was revealed after The Times made a Freedom of Information request.
Crimes are automatically “assessed out” if the damages are no more than £50 or the victim does not want to support the prosecution of crimes such as non-fatal traffic accidents, assaults with only minor injuries, or lower-level fraud.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said the number of officers in London fell for the first time in more than a decade, from 32,000 to 30,000, according to Breitbart. Marsh said if there was no improvement in funding, the police force would drop to fewer than 28,000 within two years.
“Something has to give and this is what has to give but it is not palatable for my colleagues to be put in this position,” he warned. “If someone reports a crime, who are we to be judge and jury on what is investigated? That’s the difficulty for my colleagues.”
This policy has led some to fear criminals will become emboldened to commit certain crimes, knowing police will ignore the victims.
London and the rest of the United Kingdom are already plagued by soaring crime rates.
In October, it was revealed crime across the U.K. had risen 13 percent in a year, making London a much more dangerous place than New York City.
Several areas of London are considered “no-go zones” in which acid and knife attacks have made delivery drivers to scared to enter and make their deliveries.
Additionally, Breitbart reported there were 3,755 knife-related crimes and a 27 percent increase in firearms offenses across all of Britain from May to July 2017.
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