Despite a dramatic rise in violent crime across the United Kingdom, London’s Metropolitan Police force will no longer be investigating crimes if the exact time of the offense is unknown and officers are required to watch CCTV surveillance footage for more than 20 minutes.

London police will also cease investigating thousands of offenses such as public order offenses, shoplifting and low-level assaults, and disregard certain crimes such as vandalism, vehicle crime, and fuel theft if damages do not exceed £50 (approximately $68).

The Times uncovered the new “crime assessment policy” after filing a Freedom of Information request. The policy, which was implemented in September, is being implemented during a time of shrinking budgets and a decrease in the number of police on the force.

The policy states, “Where the exact time of the offense is not known and an extended period of CCTV which requires viewing is longer than 20 minutes, the crime must be assessed ‘out.’”

According to the policy, other crimes, including so-called “hate crime” and serious offenses such as homicides and sexual assaults, must always be investigated.

Critics claim that criminals will likely be emboldened by the new policy, and victims left with little recourse.

MPs report that violent crime is rising in London and across the U.K., with areas of London assessed as
“no-go zones” due to increased acid attacks, knife-related crimes and firearms offenses.

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