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Scotland Yard to all but ignore some low level crimes

Scotland Yard today defended a controversial cost-cutting policy to all but ignore some low level crime like shoplifting and criminal damage.

Police might no longer investigate offences where victims suffer a loss or damage valued below £50.

The Met is under pressure to save £400m before 2020. The number of police officers in London is set to fall below 30,000 for the first time in more than a decade.

The force has introduced a 'Crime Assessment Policy' to help police officers judge which crimes are worth following up.

Senior officers said the move would allow the Met to focus on serious crime and offences where there is a realistic chance of the case being solved.

We must prioritise our resources to be able to cope with the demand so our officers can be in the right place at the right time to help the public.

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.

– DEPUTY ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER MARK SIMMONS, METROPOLITAN POLICE