Hundreds of crimes reported at royal palaces in London since 2019

·2-min read
Buckhingham Palace  (Getty Images)
Buckhingham Palace (Getty Images)

Hundreds of crimes have been reported at royal palaces in London over the past three years, a freedom of information (FOI) request found.

In total, the Met said 470 offences - including theft, arson and violence - were recorded at Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, St James’s Palace and Clarence House between 2019 and 2021.

Less than one per cent of the crimes led to someone being charged, cautioned or fined, according to the data. Only nine out of the 470 crimes led to someone being charged or summonised, the FOI request obtained by Sky News revealed.

In addition, the data said police did not manage to identify any suspects in 404 cases.

As many as 380 of the offences were for theft, 25 for possession of weapons and 17 for drug offences, according to the data.

Meanwhile, the FOI found arson and criminal damage comprised 15 reports, another 15 for violence against a person, 8 public order offences and 7 robberies.

Dai Davies, a former Head of Royal Protection and a former Divisional Commander in the Metropolitan Police Service, told Sky News that the number of crimes reported is “frightening”.

He said: “If you can steal or cause incidents at or near the royals, what does that say about the current security? If these offences have an impact on the personal safety of the royals, that would give me great concern."

The freedom of information request reveals most crimes – 383 in total – were recorded in 2019.

However, the number of offences plummeted following the coronavirus pandemic as only 64 were reported in 2020 and 23 in 2021.

A Met Police spokesman said: "The Met has responsibility for security in and around the Royal Palaces, but we will not comment on matters relating to security.

“In common with other crowded locations, the majority of offences committed at or within the vicinity of the Palaces were thefts. Officers will always endeavour to pursue all viable and proportionate lines of enquiry.”

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