Met police record 17 drug crimes at Palace of Westminster in a year
More than 200 crimes were recorded at the Palace of Westminster in a year, despite reduced visitors to the estate because of lockdown restrictions.
Two drug dealers were arrested while 13 individuals were detained for possessing various drugs on the estate, according to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by The Sun newspaper.
The crimes were recorded in the year to March, during a time when traffic to the estate was subdued due to Covid restrictions.
The Metropolitan police said there were 17 drug crimes in the estate home to the Commons and Lords, as well as 36 assaults, most against officers at the gates.
There were 25 thefts from the gift shops, which did not include seven other cases of shoplifting.
Scotland Yard recorded 52 threatening letters to MPs, Lords or their staff but this was a far smaller number than previous years, in the wake of the EU referendum.
A source told The Sun that it was “shocking” how much crime had been committed “given hardly anyone was here.”
“The safety and security of members, their staff and the parliamentary community are an absolute priority,” a parliament spokesperson said. “We work closely with the police to ensure members and staff are safe and are able to perform their duties.”
Some 578 crimes were reported on the estate between 2016 and 2018, according to Sky News.
Between 2016 and 2018, the number of letters being sent with the intent to cause distress more than doubled, from 39 to 101.