In a new report released by the Metropolitan Police in response to a freedom of information request, statistics reveal that crimes around Buckingham and Kensington Palaces have more than tripled since the royal wedding in 2011.
In 2011 just 13 crimes took place within palace grounds and also just outside but the number jumped to 41 in 2016. Scotland Yard has confirmed that: “The vast majority of offences are lower-level crimes such as pickpocketing and criminal damage.”
Scotland Yard reasons that the increase can be attributed to the high traffic the palaces see as major tourist attractions in London, especially during the summer months when “approximately 800,000 visitors and guests access Buckingham Palace alone.”
The numbers show that, with the exception of 2014, there has been a steady increase in the number of incidents – 13 in 2011, 25 in 2012, 44 in 2013, 33 in 2014, 50 in 2015 and 41 in 2016. Regarding last year’s numbers Scotland Yard said that: “In 2016, a total of 41 offences were recorded for the two venues. Most of these were reported as taking place in and around Buckingham Palace. This amounts to approximately one crime per 20,000 visitors.”
Though broadcasters such as Sky News have called for more information on the incidents committed over the last five years – including arrest details and case outcomes – the Metropolitan Police has said they will not be able to disclose those details because sharing the details would “allow interested parties to gain an upper hand and awareness of policing decisions used to safeguard national security.”
Security and crime prevention for the royal palaces in London “is performed in partnership by the Met Police Service, Royal Household and the Home Office.” The police representative added: “We continue to work closely together to ensure that security at the Palaces is kept under continual review and tactical deployments made accordingly.”
Recent months have seen an increase of visible police present at the palaces in response to the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.