The Metropolitan Police Service "is not effectively keeping people safe and reducing crime", an independent inspection has found.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) released reports on all police forces in the country today.

It found that the Met, which covers all 32 London boroughs, was good at tackling serious and organised crime but the quality of its investigations were poor.

The Met is the biggest police service in the UK and the largest city force in the European Union, policing more than 4,000 events and demonstrations each year.

The report said: "The quality of some crime investigations and the implementation of integrated offender management requires improvement.

“Delays in allocating crimes to officers for investigation, together with a shortage of trained detectives and some basic equipment for frontline officers, is undermining the force’s overall investigation performance.

“The force is managing the highest risk offenders effectively and preventing them re-offending.

“But the force’s management of volume crime offenders across London boroughs is inconsistent.”

Met deputy assistant commissioner Mark Simmons said he was disappointed with the report but reassured people that new systems were in place to address these issues.

A new crime investigation model has been set up to speed up the allocation of crimes to officers for investigation and new training has been introduced.

He added: "The Met has been making huge strides in reducing crime and making London safer, but we clearly need to focus more on how well we are investigating crimes, protecting the vulnerable and making sure offenders are better managed.

"Londoners should be reassured that much of this work started some months ago and is starting to deliver results but we need to demonstrate that we will maintain the determination to drive forward further improvements in the future.

"Whilst HMIC has highlighted areas for improvement, we are pleased the report acknowledges we are committed to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.”