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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  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 25 Sep 2015 @ 8:23pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 1:02am

      Re:

      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.

      In this case they are not turning a blind eye.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        wereisjessicahyde (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 6:20am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          New Mexico Mark, 28 Sep 2015 @ 2:29am

          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?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 9:32pm

    Ratio

    "1-in-40. That's an amazingly high ratio"

    What's the ratio in the US?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Snape (profile), 25 Sep 2015 @ 9:39pm

    Police Misconduct

    Whenever people say the police in this country (U.S.) aren't that bad, I show them two websites that track police activity:

    http://www.policemisconduct.net
    and
    http://www.killedbypolice.net

    Just looking through these two sites will dishearten the lightest of moods.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 26 Sep 2015 @ 1:39am

    And who exactly is stupid enough to equate morality with legality? Just those dumb enough to think the law is about "justice"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    andy, 26 Sep 2015 @ 2:25am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 3:08am

    And yet their capabilities expand every year

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 6:00am

    The "minority" is a lot stronger in their area so its somewhat understandable that they are more annoyed with their "immunity".
    Ofcourse its not an excuse but its understandable, when the worst criminals are allowed to get away just because they want to avoid a media shitstorm.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Premise Butcher, 26 Sep 2015 @ 9:35am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Premise Butcher, 26 Sep 2015 @ 10:05am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Klaus, 28 Sep 2015 @ 4:07am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 10:12am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PT (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 12:39pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 9:35pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 3:14am

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

          Ah, right. More clenched fist shaking and feet-stamping indignation from the guy who believes that if the police aren't given free license to hurl flashbangs at babies, society as a whole will be irreparably wrecked.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 9:35am

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

            Not only that, but apparently the poster thinks the lack of convictions means the accusations and subsequent arrests were without merit. This is simply incorrect. It is a well established fact that police officers (and others) are given much more credence than the average Joe.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 27 Sep 2015 @ 11:02am

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

            I just remembered that people like you make this place so un-enjoyable. Enjoy your free speech, it's all ya got.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 11:24am

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

              When lacking a response, simply denigrate - Brilliant!

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 4:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 4:47pm

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

                No it more like you techdirt fanboys have your heads so far up masnicks arse that you can't see when he's pulling the wool over your eyes, and when the story doesn't add up.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 6:32pm

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

                  And even darryl has crawled back out of the woodwork. It's like a shill/troll clusterfuck today? Finished jacking off to your solar panels, have you?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 9:40am

          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.
          http://www.threefeloniesaday.com/Youtoo/tabid/86/Default.aspx

          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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2015 @ 9:28am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2015 @ 9:35am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2015 @ 9:44am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 1:04pm

    While a less criminal police force would be good, it's encouraging that at least some crooks in uniform are being weeded out. Sounds like that's relatively rare in some countries (see pretty much any Techdirt story on US police).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    got_runs? (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 1:24pm

    The police state isn't your friend.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GEMont, 26 Sep 2015 @ 6:32pm

    Devolution Inaction

    Geez, what a surprise!

    As a nation becomes a police state, the police become noticeably more criminal and stop upholding the law.

    Hooda thunk it!!!

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 8:19pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 9:03am

        Re: Re: Devolution Inaction

        Oops, I forgot to mention that my father and his co-workers' discussion of the sticky-fingeredness of the police happened in the mid-70s.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        GEMont, 27 Sep 2015 @ 2:56pm

        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.

        ---

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 27 Sep 2015 @ 1:54am

    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.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 9:45am

      Re:

      It's sort of like putting a child in charge of the cookie jar.
      They will not let anyone have an unauthorized cookie - but they feel entitled to take how ever many they please for themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 3:17am

    Our lives do not belong to our governments

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 12:06pm

    '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!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      GEMont, 27 Sep 2015 @ 2:59pm

      Re:

      Maybe if we all went out and copyrighted ourselves, the law and the government could be sued for infringement whenever the mistreated us or stole our personal data via surveillance.

      ---

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DeadBolt (profile), 28 Sep 2015 @ 1:28am

    "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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 29 Sep 2015 @ 2:52pm

      Re:

      The Met caught offenders in 11% of burglaries, against a national average of 15.5%, according to the HMIC.

      I guess the blanket of surveillance cameras isn't for solving or preventing crime, then.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        GEMont, 30 Sep 2015 @ 2:35pm

        Re: Re:

        At least, not crimes against the general population, such as in the case of burglaries.

        Perhaps its to stop crimes against another part of society then.

        Wonder who that might be eh.

        ---

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2015 @ 7:01am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    gwen, 7 Nov 2016 @ 12:40pm

    to the famely of cbs anchor otis livingston your son is cousig too meny problems in russian comune you must wacht your son or we will arrest him if he apears in the russian nerbohood.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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