London's Metropolitan Police Houses A Bunch Of Criminals Who Are More Interested In Harassing Journalists Than Chasing Criminals

from the Keystone-Kops-UK dept

The International Business Times has just published a useful set of crime stats — the number of criminal offenses committed by UK police officers over the past five years. So far, regular criminal activity still outpaces criminal activity by police officers, but this fact is a little jarring.

One police officer is arrested each day on suspicion of criminal offences in the UK, according to data from 43 polices forces across England and Wales.

IBT says 1,629 officers have been arrested over the past five years — roughly 300 a year. 500 of those have been convicted or suspended. A majority of the arrests apparently stem from sexual offenses.

But perhaps the most criminal-laden police force of all is the Metropolitan Police. When not abusing the law to investigate journalists, this police force engages in a significant amount of criminal behavior. Roughly half of the arrested officers over the past five years came from the Met.

The Metropolitan Police saw 781 officers arrested, and 146 convicted or cautioned, during the period the figures covered. The rate means 1-in-40 of the Met’s officers were arrested in the last five years, and 1-in-200 were convicted of a crime.

1-in-40. That’s an amazingly high ratio, considering these officers are (supposedly) in the business of law enforcement. They could possibly be as bad than the people they police. The Met’s crime stats show reportable criminal offenses occurring at a rate of one offense for every 12 London residents. However, it’s very likely that several of these reportable offenses were committed by the same people, which would bring the rate of criminal-to-noncriminal London residents within shouting distance of the Met’s horrendous 1-in-40 rate.

It’s not that we expect our police officers to have a more refined moral compass than the general public… oh, wait, WE DO. One-in-forty is a terrible ratio for people who took a job that explicitly expects them to not only enforce the law, but follow it as well.

And, on top of that, the Met is apparently far too busy using the UK’s terrorism laws to conduct surveillance on investigative reporters to devote much time to its other, less questionable duties.

According to the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the Met is also the worst-performing force for solving burglaries from people’s homes in 2013-14. The Met caught offenders in 11% of burglaries, against a national average of 15.5%, according to the HMIC.

The lesson is: if you don’t want the Met on your tail, you’re better off breaking into houses than filing FOI requests.

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Comments on “London's Metropolitan Police Houses A Bunch Of Criminals Who Are More Interested In Harassing Journalists Than Chasing Criminals”

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Padpaw (profile) says:

When those charged with enforcing the law show utter contempt for it. Society starts to break down as fewer people bother to follow the law.

Add to that the hero worship the average person stupidly seems to have for police. Eventually people will either have to fight back against corruption or roll over and die.

To those that say there are good cops, if you have police turning a blind eye to their fellow officers crimes, then they are not good cops.

wereisjessicahyde (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

My Farther was a “good cop”. He is retired now. He never played what he called “the bent game” He just did his job, with honesty. And it got him nowhere – career wise. He was continually passed over for promotion even though he was the most qualified. Not all Police are bad, but it is hard to be a good one and you don’t get thanked for it.

New Mexico Mark says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Late comment, but… If this life were all there is, your father might have been foolish not to “play the bent game” for all it was worth. However, I’ll still go with Solomon’s words to the effect that, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold”

Your father sounds like an honorable man, and he may have had much greater influence than he realizes. Who knows how many others teetered on the fence of a bad decision, but made the right one because they admired your father’s integrity?

andy says:

Crime rates

Sadly the crime rate in the UK is only growing and becoming worse every year , even thought the lies that crime is lowering is spread every year .

If anything the police should be held to a much higher standard and the police should be punished harder, those found guilty of a crime like rape or abuse of a citizen they are supposed to be protecting should be punished with sentences that ensure the other police are too scared to commit even the most simple of crimes.

maybe the supposed justice system should start looking at the problems in the metropolitan police and doing something to stop the high levels of crime against their citizens.

Premise Butcher says:

yeah but NO

Good news. Police should be arrested at the same rate as everyone else at least. They probably should be arrested at a greater rate, due to their added position of granted power, power that makes abuse of law easier.

Definitely think you’re being a bit doomsday glass empty over this
This is a good thing to see, not bad. Bad would be… people with extra ability to break the law, being arrested at lesser rates than average people.

1.1m people were arrested – 2013
About 60 million in England wales
Generally 1:60 arrest ratio

Factor in the added stress from dealing with the worst acting people in the public, while at work, then trying to live your public life (example going out for a drink to have some asshole start shit). Along with the added power granted. I’d say 1:40 for the MET, is probably too low. ibtimes has used selective facts that are misleading. Mixing up arrests, convictions, crimes, crimes solved etc… and comparing them. Then you played along. Comparing how the police spend their resources is valid though, just not the way it’s presented by ibtimes.

Arrest ratios. (1:40 MET) (1:60 General Population)
Good to see, it should probably be 1:30 for MET arrests considering reality.For a minute there, ibtimes was calling for less officer arrests or something. NO, it’s good that they are arrested more. Doomsday averted.

Premise Butcher says:

Re: Correction

we’re ignoring the same person arrested multiple times
i compared 5years to 1year – ibtimes give me a job?

a) 1-in-40 of the Met’s officers were arrested in the last five years

b) 5m-in-60m of the public were arrested in the last five years (guesstimate from Guardian, 1 year arrests, 2013 )

So… 1:40 versus 1:12. It’s the opposite to good from viewpoint of you’d expect officers to get arrested more due to what I’ve already outlined. Your criminal laden police force doomsday was averted, but look, they’re only getting arrested at about 1/4 of the rate compared to the population. A new unarrested criminal laden police force could be the actual doomsday worth exploring.

1:40 versus 1:12 looks pretty good for the police officers for the other viewpoint too. Reality is probably in the middle where 1:25 arrest rate for officers, over 5 years, is the norm.

Klaus says:

Re: Re: Correction

I applaud your efforts to apply numbers here, but first glance tells me that your 60M population includes infants and minors, who of course can commit crime but are less likely to do so. The same goes for old age pensioners.

You’re not comparing like for like; I’d suggest working population, which mars your conclusion somewhat.

Whatever (profile) says:

Great story, but...

I know it’s Techdirt’s line and all to get upset at authorities and point out bad they are, but geez, could you at least try looking at the gap in the numbers?

1 in 40 arrested, 1 in 200 convicted. That means… 0.5% of the police have been convicted of a crime in 5 years. The normal crime rates in the UK suggest that more than 3% of the population commit crimes “of note” (ie, not jaywalking). The police force is, even at it’s worst, 6 times better than the population at hand.

It should be noted that the IBTimes also uses a very slippery set of conditions to reach their numbers. Particularly, they take any internal suspension during investigation as a form of guilty, which it most certainly is not. “Out of these, 500 were convicted of offences, or suspended from duty on suspicion of committing offences.”

Like I said, I know you want to all be upset at authorities, but these numbers just don’t add up to anything to be outraged about. Police are remarkably human as well, and they are not perfect. A very small percentage over a long period of time committed crimes. It happens.

PT (profile) says:

Re: Great story, but...

Yer right guv. Move along, nothing to see here. Everything’s on the square with the Metropolitan Police. They treat every case “Sine Favore” these days. Learned their lesson, they did, with that business in 1977 – lot of people sweating, I can tell you, but only 13 went down. Thirteen, that’s a bloody disgrace. Never happen again, no sir. The Manor takes care of it now.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Great story, but...

Pretty bad attempt at the brush off, trying to miss the point but not ever quite making it work out!

Seriously, the police are X times less likely to be convicted of a crime – yet much more likely to get arrested, suspended, or investigated for crimes. Nobody is claiming they are perfect, they are human, However, considering the temptations of power, the contacts that they make, and so on… it’s pretty remarkable.

The numbers presented by themselves without comparison look like “holy sh-t!”m but then when you realize that the population is something like 6 times as likely to commit a crime, you realize the police aren’t doing so bad.

The general population might have more to complain about if they themselves weren’t quite so often committing crimes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Great story, but...

If you want to believe that most people believe that the police are actually being held to a higher standard, you can keep deluding yourself. Then again, you copyright fanboys do seem to consistently have a thing for getting dominated by people in positions of power, and insisting everyone fall in line to get their asses reamed like you.

And ending off with a jab at the free speech you hate so much. Classic Whatever. How many times has it been this month? Shouldn’t you be disappearing until the end of the year for jumping in so often? Guess someone let all the insightful votes go to their head and needed some idiocy to balance things out.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Great story, but...

“The general population might have more to complain about if they themselves weren’t quite so often committing crimes.”

Yes, and heinous crimes they are too.

Ever wonder if these statistics take into account the rather large number of people who accept the plea deal simply to avoid the potential huge sentence even though they committed no crime? It’s a bitch not being able to afford a lawyer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Great story, but...

“The normal crime rates in the UK suggest that more than 3% of the population commit crimes “of note” (ie, not jaywalking).”

Does that include drug related crimes? Because the war on drugs itself is very controversial.

Gang violence, for instance, is often a result of the war on drugs. Many would argue that the government should stop creating such victimless crimes because they end up resulting in violent black markets with victims. Should victimless crimes and the violence the war on drugs creates really be blamed on citizens or the government for creating such very questionable laws. Laws that hugely inflate the cost of drugs and create the possibility of them being contaminated with other dangerous substances and that inflated price causes more and more people to have to steal (and perhaps commit violent acts in the process) in order to get a hold of drugs and they result in violent black market gags that cause more problems than the war on drugs solves.

Should those responsible for breaking victimless crimes be labeled criminals or is it the legal system at fault for finding ways to label people that shouldn’t be criminals as criminals and creating black markets of violent criminals.

When you say “crimes “of note”” please be more specific.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Great story, but...

and the war on drugs doesn’t necessarily have to just be contraband. It can also be prescription drugs. It can also be the war on the black market for expensive patented drugs. These laws are very controversial. Perhaps the true problem here is government over criminalizes everything so that people like you can then call everyone a criminal. and then such over-criminalization results in violent black markets that the government is responsible for making because of their over-criminalization.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Great story, but...

I can’t remember where I heard this but I heard a statistic (don’t quote me on this) that when bank robbers were interviewed over why they robbed banks some like 40% of them said so that they can afford to get their next high. If drugs weren’t so artificially expensive due to being illegal bank robbers wouldn’t need to rob banks in order to get what they want. Those crimes can arguably and very reasonably be attributed to laws the government created.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Devolution Inaction

Sadly, the police haven’t actually become “more criminal”, they’ve always been pretty darned criminal. You might want to watch a little movie called “Serpico”, for instance. It’s apparently not quite as horrible as reality, they had to tone it down for the screen or nobody would have believed it.

It looks like the police have gotten more criminal these days because we’ve got a tiny bit of oversight going with people using their phones to record the police committing crimes, and the internet to keep track and compare notes. Plus, the police mostly used to go after poor people and people who were not white, and now that the middle class has been destroyed, they are going after lots of white people who are shocked that they’re being treated like the underclass, like “them”, the ones who deserve to be treated badly by the police by virtue of a lack of funds or skin color. They are always shocked when they find out that they are “them” now.

I remember my father and his fellow mechanics talking about how if their car got towed to the yards, they could kiss their expensive toolboxes (and anything else of value) that they kept the trunk because everyone knew the police would steal whatever they could get their hands on as long as they had plausible deniability.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Devolution Inaction

The difference between a normal pretend democracy, like we’ve had for decades and a full blown fascist – in your face corporate, for profit – government, is that in the pretend democracy, the cops pretend to be Peace Officers, while in a fascist police state, they drop the pretense and can then be seen as Law Enforcement Officers clearly.

Peace Officers keep the peace by catching criminals and preventing some crimes through their presence.

Law Enforcement Officers enforce the desires of whoever is in charge of making the laws, even if the laws are being written by corporations whose sole desire is profit.

These are not the same and the difference is very observable.

Wyrm (profile) says:

that explicitly expects them to not only enforce the law, but follow it as well.
Maybe someone forgot to tell them the second part.
It’s not like it’s obvious for everyone that enforcing the law implies that you set a good example yourself.
(And I’m only half-sarcastic here, watching all the real-life examples of abuse of power everywhere.)

Anonymous Coward says:

‘A majority of the arrests apparently stem from sexual offenses.’

perhaps if there was copyright on sex, the figures would be better. the UK police seem to be able to help FACT or whatever organisation, or the police forces from other countries, like Sweden, for example when there is a copyright issue suddenly launched on to the unsuspecting World!

DeadBolt (profile) says:

“According to the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the Met is also the worst-performing force for solving burglaries from people’s homes in 2013-14. The Met caught offenders in 11% of burglaries, against a national average of 15.5%, according to the HMIC.”

No surprise there…

Had my place broken into ~2yrs ago and the thieves attempted to use one of the credit cards at an ATM up the road from me at a bank that has external CCTV, not to mention the other businesses that ahve CCTV, or the goddam traffic monitoring cameras in the area, all of which would have gotten a clear shot of the perps.

What did the MEt do with this info? Nothing, case was filed as unsolvable. Too fucking lazy to ask for a screengrab of whoever used the atm, nor to check their own damn cctv.

Anonymous Coward says:

flawed math(s) – 781 is the cumulative 5 year total therefore you must apply the same to the workforce figure to arrive at a correct comparison (5 x 28,000). Either that or divide 781 by 5 – whichever way the real figure is nearer 1 in 180 rather than the 1 in 40 erroneously proposed as a true shocking figure. Don’t be fooled people – no police committed crime is acceptable – neither is poorly / cynically constructed statistic designed to fool the simple/lazy.

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