Almost a third of all crime reports to the Met Police are dismissed – usually after a single phone call with the victim, figures show.
Britain’s biggest police force quietly introduced a policy that allows a list of crimes to be dismissed without being investigated – including burglaries, low-level assaults, criminal damage, theft and affray.
The Telephone and Digital Investigation Unit (TDIU) was launched last April and dealt with 37% of crimes reported to the Met between April and December 2017, according to a Freedom of Information request. Between January and October 2018, the unit dealt with 39% of all reported crime.
Of these, 79% of reported crimes were “assessed out”, meaning they will not be investigated based on a lack of criteria such as CCTV or forensic evidence.
The dropped reports account for 29.6% of all crimes reported to the Met, the Times newspaper said.
The paper added that the true number of cases not pursued is likely to be higher, but the Met was unable to provide figures for crimes assessed out by other departments.
If a suspect is identified by the victim, the crime is automatically “assessed in” for further investigation, alongside mandatory offences that must be investigated, including sexual assault.
“Every crime reported to us is investigated, whether that’s through face-to-face contact with an officer or detective, or through alternative routes such as the TDIU,” he said.
“But like any organisation, we have got a budget to work to, we have demand to meet, and have to make decisions about what we prioritise.
“We have to take a clear view about what is most important for Londoners in terms of safety.
“We continually look at ways of reducing demand on response officers, and examples include the diversion of calls that do not require a face-to-face response to our Local Resolution Team or to the TDIU.”