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London crime stats

Fewer than one in five crimes that make it to the Met Police’s recorded figures have a ‘sanction detection’, according to the force’s latest statistics. The Met recorded nearly 775,000 offences for the year 2016-17; of them, nearly 130,000 resulted in a ‘sanction detection’. That was about 10,000 fewer than the year before, even though in that year the Met recorded fewer crimes – about 741,000.

Inside that overall percentage, a mere 6.63 per cent of burglaries have a ‘sanction detection’. Theft and handling (with a ‘sanction detection’ rate of 7.12 per cent), and violence against the person (with a rate of 20pc) remain the largest categories of crimes by volume.

For the stats in detail visit https://public.tableau.com/profile/metropolitan.police.service#!/vizhome/MPSFY201617CrimeStatistics/NOTES. And for crime ‘dashboards’ across the capital visit https://beta.met.police.uk/stats-and-data/.

Recorded knife and gun-related crime also saw increases. In Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s new Police and Crime Plan for London 2017-21, he wrote that knife crime is ‘taking a terrible toll on the young people and families who feel its effects’. The document proposes a ‘new Knife Crime Strategy for London’: “Rather than just warm words, this strategy will bring together police, partners and communities to take effective action.” The document mentions the Information Sharing to Tackle Violence (ISTV) programme, whereby hospital emergency departments share with the police data on admissions due to violence. “This helps to build a better picture of the level, nature and locations of violent incidents in the city.” Not all emergency departments are signed up, the plan admits. The document has no mention of fraud. According to the plan, burglaries and robberies have decreased, and ‘online offences have quickly grown to become one of the most common types of crime’.

Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, responsible for Territorial Policing, described London as one of the safest global cities. “There are few others with such low rates of serious crime, such as murder and gun crime. Similar to the rest of England and Wales, crime rates in London are rising, but many of these are still at a much lower level than five years ago and are against the backdrop of significant reductions in resources.

“For example, robbery is around half the level of 2006/7 and there were 58 fewer homicides this year compared with ten years ago. Along with rises in traditional crimes, we are facing new challenges across London. We are concerned about the rise of gun crime and rise of knife crime offences committed by young people and the changing nature of the offenders. Young people carrying knives are doing so for a variety of reasons including status, criminality and self-protection but only around a quarter are affiliated with gangs.

“Whilst we continue to focus on reducing stabbings by taking weapons and dangerous offenders off the streets, prevention and diversion from knife crime is key. There are complex social reasons why more young people are carrying knives and this cannot be solved by the police alone, we must work with communities to help combat knife crime.

“We are also managing an increased demand across areas as a result of societal changes such as child protection, mental health and missing people.

“The crime picture has evolved and so must we in the way we police, recruit and operate. We have an ambitious transformation programme which is already underway and will deliver a 21st century police service for London, strengthening local policing by bringing specialist officers closer to communities.

“We are committed to increasing the amount of neighbourhood officers dedicated to particular areas to engage with the public and work with them to keep them safe; by the end of this year there will be an extra dedicated officer on every ward.

“The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) has published the Police and Crime Plan, which sets out policing challenges and proposes key areas for London, with boroughs and some wards able to set their own priorities. We are also developing a complementary plan to ensure the objectives of the Police and Crime Plan are articulated in a clear set of actions for the Met and this will be finalised later this year.

“We will be changing the way we investigate crimes – training more frontline officers to carry out investigations of certain crimes, relieving some of the burden on detectives. We are also rolling out ‘Body-Worn-Video’ which is in 16 boroughs so far and will help secure stronger evidence leading to early convictions.

“We have introduced the crime prevention campaign ‘Be Safe’, which focuses on residential burglary, theft snatch and moped-enabled crime and is supported by operational activity. Its aim is to motivate, empower and mobilise Londoners to take small crime prevention steps to protect themselves and their property, while officers continue to work hard to disrupt and arrest the criminals.”

Picture by Mark Rowe; Piccadilly Circus.


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