London Labour: Percentage of burglaries solved in Lewisham drops to 6%

Brockley Central's neighbour was recently burgled three times in quick succession and although the police response was thorough, to our knowledge, the culprit is still at large. So this release by the London Assembly Labour Party is timely:

Concern is growing about the Metropolitan Police’s ability to deal with £800m of further budget cuts without a significant impact on frontline services Local London Assembly Member Len Duvall has said. His comments come after the Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was forced to deny suggestions that budget cuts could stop the force investigating low level crimes such as burglaries.

Despite the Commissioner’s assurance Mr Duvall warned that officers are already struggling to deal with some crimes as a result of budget cuts. Since 2010, when the Met’s budget was cut by £600m, the percentage of domestic burglaries in London which are solved by the police has halved from 12% in 2010/11 to only 6% in 2014/15. 121 uniformed officers have already been cut from Lewisham’s streets since 2010 with dedicated neighbourhood policing teams also cut from six to only two officers each. Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has accepted that the forthcoming cuts mean London will “end up with some less police, but I am not going to be precise.”

In Lewisham it is an equally concerning situation. 94% of the 2,068 domestic and non-domestic burglaries reported in Lewisham over the last 12 months have gone unsolved according to the latest annual figures from the Metropolitan Police. Whilst the Met has changed the way it records some crimes, the figures uncovered by Len Duvall AM still mean that over 1,946 burglaries went unsolved in Lewisham last year. Mr Duvall warned that the figures showed the police were already stretched too thinly, with crimes such as burglary not given the resources they previously were.

Since 2010 the Metropolitan police force has cut £600m from its budget and is expected to face a further £800m cut in the Government’s Autumn Spending Review. Whilst the Commissioner has pledged the Met will continue to investigate burglaries he has admitted that there would have to be “a compromise somewhere” saying “we are going to struggle to do everything we used to do.” Even the Mayor of London recently admitted that “you cannot have a city growing as fast as London, with the challenges London faces, without putting more money into the MPS.”