Revealed: Seven crimes reported in Downing Street over three years

Police investigated seven crimes reported in Downing Street over three years, Sky News can reveal.

The offences were all classed as “violence against the person” crimes and relate to “malicious communications” sent to the street where the prime minister is based, the Metropolitan Police said.

The force released the data for 2017 to 2019 but refused to disclose whether any offences were reported in Downing Street in 2020, saying it “cannot be in the public interest” to provide the information.

It comes after Sky News revealed that crimes reported in parliament had soared by nearly 50% between 2016 and 2018 – including a sharp rise in threatening letters being received.

Last month a man was jailed for two years after threatening to kill Theresa May with “a knife or a gun” while she was prime minister.

A court heard Theresa May felt ‘anxious and concerned’ over a death threat sent to her

Wajid Shah, 27, sent abusive emails to the then-Tory leader and five other politicians, including Labour’s former cabinet minister Lord Blunkett.

Mrs May found the email “extremely offensive, threatening and disturbing” and was “left feeling anxious and concerned” given the “explicit and repeated” threats to kill, Southwark Crown Court heard.

In June, a prisoner who sent death threats to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his partner, as well as female MPs, was handed a five-year jail sentence.

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Rakeem Malik, who was already serving a life sentence for attempted murder, posted the threats to Mr Johnson from his prison cell, threatening to kill the PM “by Christmas”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Downing Street, London, ahead of a Cabinet meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was sent a death threat by an attempted murderer

Downing Street in central London houses the official residences and offices of the prime minister and the chancellor.

Following a freedom of information request by Sky News, the Met Police revealed four crimes were reported in the street in 2017 – the year after the EU referendum result – along with one crime in 2018 and two crimes in 2019.

The force would not provide the details of each offence but said: “All the above crimes relate to malicious communications sent to Downing Street.”

The Met Police also refused to disclose the results of each investigation, arguing that it could lead to the identity of the victims being revealed which would breach the Data Protection Act.

It said several of the reported crimes had “evidential difficulties”, while in one case no suspect was identified.

Meanwhile, the Met Police said revealing whether any offences were reported in Downing Street in 2020 would “enable the possibility of crime patterns to be exposed”.

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The force said: “Disclosure could allow an individual to identify whether a crime committed had been detected and provide the opportunity to either evade capture or commit further crimes.”

It added: “Any disclosure which allows an individual to gather information by identifying crime patterns would impact on police resources and ultimately add to the cost to the public purse.

“It cannot be in the public interest to release information which has the potential to place individuals at risk.”

Sky News had asked the Met Police in September for details of crimes reported in Downing Street since January, as well as in 2019 and 2018.

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, the force should have responded within 20 working days but repeatedly delayed providing the data until releasing it in December.

The prime minister’s office did not respond to Sky News’ request for comment.

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