Is £50 the new legal limit for theft?

The Metropolitan Police Service has put a cash threshold on the value that a crime has to reach before it is worth their while to investigate it. With the Sussex Police Chief Constable also saying that they can’t investigate everything how long before other forces follow the Met lead?

The Met has announced that it won’t investigate crimes where there is little prospect of a prosecution saying it is also impractical for officers to look into minor crimes, including in some instances theft, assault and burglary, when they should be focused on ‘serious crimes’.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons said; “. . . lower level, higher volume offences such as shoplifting, car crime and criminal damage” would not be a priority for the Met.

In a bizarre twist the Met will also be reluctant to prosecute crimes unless the victim can identify the suspect but many victims are targeted by professional criminals who are not known to them.

Ex Chief Inspector Mick Neville - the controversial former head of the Metropolitan Police’s central forensic images department – said that the plan would result in thousands of crimes going unreported and give “junkies a green light to thieve”.

The Met is not the first force to place a value limit on the crimes it will investigate, Thames Valley Police placed a £100 limit on shoplifting in Hungerford in March of this year.

If you are concerned about shoplifting in your business contact the BCRP on 01273 733393