London Mayor Boris Johnson has been urged to ensure all victims of crime receive a visit from the police after official figures revealed the Met is failing to attend more than 7 percent of appointments.
In 2013 the Mayor approved a new policing plan for the capital which included the closure of 36 front counters used by Londoners to report crimes.
The Met and Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime defended the closures by saying the force would become a modern, more responsive service with the public able to request that officers visit them, rather then needing to visit a station to report crime or make a statement.
Figures provided by the Mayor to London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon show the number of Londoners requesting a visit has risen over the past year from 11,798 in January 2013 to 18,595 in December.
The figures show in all but four months at least 6% of appointments were missed and that across the year almost 13,000 (7.1%) appointments weren’t kept.
In mitigation City Hall says the Met’s reporting doesn’t separate incidents where officers failed to attend from those where they did but the victim or witness wasn’t at home.
The Mayor has also highlighted a further weakness in the figures, saying the number of appointments listed “may include other incidents in addition to crimes, for example, incidents of anti-social behaviour.”
This is because the Met has ceased manually recording scheduled appointments making it impossible “to disaggregate crime related visits from other forms of scheduled appointments.”
However the Mayor said “there is no reason to believe that performance would be markedly different” if the appointments were recorded and reported separately.
Ms Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly, said: “A central promise made by the Mayor to justify closing police stations and front counters was that every victim of crime that requested a visit would actually get one.
“I have heard that the Met have not been keeping all appointments and while their collection of data needs to be improved even these partial statistics highlight that there is a problem.”
“The Mayor needs to ensure that the Met are routinely keeping appointments with victims of crime and have the number of officers in neighbourhoods to enable that to happen.”