Concerns have been raised in the UK over seized drugs that are going missing in Met police storage almost every fortnight.
Investigations have been opened to the development as a Freedom of Information request by a UK paper revealed that from 2013 to May 2020, there have been more than 158 instances of drugs missing from custody of the Metropolitan Police.
Drugs were the most frequent to disappear of all the reports of missing items from custody of Britain’s biggest police force.
Coincidentally, within same period, 54 instances of weapons, including knives and CS spray, went missing from evidence storage areas, the data shows.
Other missing items are, ammunition, cash, clothing, mobile phones, and CCTV footage.
A visiting research fellow in criminology at the London School of Economics, Mohammed Qasim, said: “Although there is no hard evidence that the missing drugs are related to drug-related police corruption, this is definitely a red flag – and should prompt further investigation into why the drugs have gone missing.”
The Met refused to provide a figure for the value, volume and type of the drugs that had gone missing.
Officers in Islington have lost 395 pieces of evidence since the start of 2013, or 29.5 per cent of all lost evidence – more than any other area in London.
There is no doubt that about drug-related corruption in British policing, with staff being caught stealing drugs and cash from drug raids, or using their position to work with drug dealers for personal profit.
In November last year, Metropolitan Police Constable Kashif Mahmood was dismissed without notice following a criminal conviction after it was revealed that he was involved in the wholesale movement of drugs and laundering hundreds of thousands of pounds in drug money.
In March 2017, Keith Boots, a Bradford police inspector, who was found with 11kg of cocaine in his washing machine, was sentenced to prison for 26 years.
In a statement, a Met Police spokesman said: “We would strongly refute that corruption or theft played a significant part in these findings.
“It would also be incorrect to suggest that drugs and weapons regularly go missing. The Met carries out enhanced checks when disposing of drugs, with a third party verification before they are disposed via the incineration process.
“The 158 drug exhibits that were recorded ‘missing’ over the five year period is again, a small fraction of the total amount seized.”