By Jack Foley
A UNIQUE survey carried out by the Metropolitan Police has revealed that an average of 3,372 crimes are committed every 24 hours in London - which translates to more than two offences every minute of the day and night.
The shocking survey is intended to highlight the enormity of the task facing the police in their battle against crime, while serving as a warning to Londoners to be more vigilant and aware of their surroundings when going about their daily businesses.
Broken down still further, the offences include an average of 273 street robberies per day, 332 assaults, 530 car crimes and 314 burglaries. Even more worryingly, 34 women are victims of indecent assault or rape, every 24 hours.
The survey, compiled using police data from a single day in May, also reveals that car thieves escape with an average of 116 vehicles each day.
The figures make for depressing reading but, according to Met Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, serve to underline the sheer size of the task facing today's criminal justice system.
The study was commissioned to launch a major international conference on modernising criminal justice, to be hosted by the Met and the FBI, in London next week, entitled Modernising Criminal Justice: New World Challenges.
And the news gets worse. According to Home Office research, only around 40% of crimes are reported which makes the real number of offences in a 24-hour period likely to be around 40,000.
The survey goes on to reveal that 4,500 prisoners are ferried between courts, jails and police stations each day, while magistrates deal with 5,500 cases. More than 1,000 end in charges being dropped or proceedings being abandoned.
Crown court judges, meanwhile, deal with 1,558 cases and convict an average of 206 defendants, 103 of whom are jailed.
Counsellors working for Victim Support visit or contact 4,000 victims of
crime during a 24-hour period.
As a result of the findings, Sir John maintained that it was essential that all agencies involved in combating crime and the reasons for it must work closely together if they were to succeed in delivering real justice, deter people from turning to crime and make the capital a safer place.