The Met attended less than half of calls about shoplifting during the last year according to new data requested by the Liberal Democrats.
According to the data the Met attended 38 per cent of calls regarding shoplifting in the Capital last year, with only 10,654 out of 25,260 calls resulting in police attendance.
While the data from the first few months of this year shows a slight improvement, the force is still attending to less than half of calls.
The data comes on the back of numerous businesses struggling to cope with a rising tide of shoplifting across London and the whole of the UK.
The Co-op has previously claimed that police failed to respond to 71% of serious retail crimes across the UK and that bosses were considering whether it was safe and commercially viable to keep some branches open.
The Liberal Democrats have warned that for many businesses it feels like shoplifting has been decriminalised and have called for more resources to be put into front-line policing as well as into tackling organised gangs that run pickpocketing rings.
Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member and Police & Crime Spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon said, “Shoplifting is at epidemic levels in London now, with many business owners feeling like it has all but been decriminalised and many retail staff increasingly being put in harm’s way, especially in smaller independent stores which cannot afford security.
“There is no such thing as victimless crime, and while shoplifting may officially be considered a ‘low-level offence’ it does cause a huge amount of damage to our local businesses, especially when profit margins are tight and can leave victims of altercations scarred and anxious for years to come.
“We need to see a proper return to community policing and the Met responding to more shoplifting cases.
“We also need to see the UK Government step up efforts to tackle the organised criminal gangs that operate shoplifting rings with the funding they announced earlier this year amounting to a pitiful 8p per shoplifting offence.”