Hundreds of crimes have been reported at royal palaces over the past three years, including crimes involving weapons, drugs, violence and theft.
A total of 470 crimes were recorded at Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, St James’s Palace and Clarence House – on or off the ground – between 2019 and 2021, the Metropolitan Police have revealed.
They included hundreds of thefts as well as reports of arson and arson damage, burglary, robbery, possession of weapons and personal violence.
Fewer than 1% of crimes resulted in a person being charged, warned or fined, and no suspects were identified in more than 400 offences, according to data released under the Liberty Act of information.
It comes after Prince Harry expressed his safety concerns about bringing his family from the US to the UK, saying he “doesn’t feel safe” during visits and offering to pay for police protection.
Dai Davies, former head of royal protection at Scotland Yard, said the number of crimes was “astonishing” and “frightening”.
The former chief superintendent told Sky News: “If you can steal or cause incidents at or near the Royal Family, what does that say about current security?
“If these offenses have an impact on the personal safety of the Royal Family, that would be of great concern to me.”
What does the data show?
Sky News has submitted a freedom of information request to the Met Police asking for details of reported crimes at these four royal residences in London since 2019.
The force declined to provide some of the information for ‘national security’ and ‘law enforcement’ reasons, including what crimes were reported at each location and whether the offenses took place inside or immediately outside. the outside.
A total of 383 crimes were recorded in 2019, before a sharp drop in offenses during the coronavirus pandemic, with 64 crimes reported in 2020 and 23 in 2021.
Among the offenses were:
• Theft – 380
• Possession of weapons – 25
• Drug offenses – 17
• Arson and criminal damage – 15
• Violence against the person – 15
• Offenses against public order – 8
• Flight – 7
• Burglary – 1
• Vehicle offenses – 1
• Miscellaneous crimes against society – 1
Of the 470 recorded crimes, only nine resulted in an indictment or summons. A warning was issued, along with a penalty notice for disorder.
No suspects were identified in 404 offences, while 34 crimes presented evidentiary difficulties and five cases were deemed not of public interest.
Sixteen crimes have been addressed by community resolutions, which are used for minor offenses and may include a simple apology, an offer of compensation, or a promise to repair any criminal damage.
Buckingham Palace employee jailed for theft
Last year, a Buckingham Palace catering staff member was jailed after stealing official royal family medals and photos from the Queen’s residence.
Adamo Canto was sentenced to eight months in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of theft between November 2019 and August 2020.
Some of the goods, worth between £10,000 and £100,000, were listed for sale on eBay, a court heard.
In February, a man who scaled a fence at Buckingham Palace was spared by a judge who told him he was lucky he had not been killed by police.
Cameron Kalani entered the Royal Mews – home to the Royal Family’s horses – in the early hours of May 10 last year.
The 44-year-old, who was caught with a 20cm kitchen knife and cocaine in his bag during his arrest, was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison, suspended for one year.
Assistant District Judge Roy Brown told Kalani, “It’s just luck and luck that neither you nor anyone else were seriously injured or killed during your getaway.”
Meanwhile, an American tourist was fined £200 in February after he admitted entering the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
Joseph Huang Kang jumped over the fence at the Royal Mews last December, ignoring staff who challenged him and fled before being found in the toilets.
The 24-year-old from Houston, Texas pleaded guilty to trespassing on a secure site.
What does the Met Police say?
The Met Police said they were “responsible for security in and around the Royal Palaces, but we will not comment on matters relating to security”.
A spokesman for the force told Sky News: “As in other crowded places, the majority of offenses in or near palaces were thefts.
“Officers will always endeavor to pursue all viable and proportionate avenues of investigation.”
The force also defended its decision not to disclose what crimes were recorded at each royal residence, or whether the offenses took place inside or off the grounds.
In its freedom of information response, a spokesperson said: “Release of the requested information would allow interested criminal parties to gain an advantage and increased awareness of police decisions used to protect national security.
“All royal residences are considered sites of national interest. Any potential threat…would be considered a threat to the principal institution of the UK’s constitutional arrangements and therefore a threat to national security.
“While there is a public interest in the transparency of the use of police resources and their effectiveness against the threat posed to the Royal Family and Royal Residences…there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment when approached by Sky News.