London Cops to Stop Waiting Around for Julian Assange Outside the Ecuadorean Embassy

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Photo: John Stillwell/AFP/Getty Images

It’s a little hard to believe, but Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is still holed up inside London’s Ecuadorean embassy, which he entered three years ago to avoid being extradited to Sweden over allegations of sexual molestation and rape. It seems that the British government has realized that he’s probably not coming out anytime soon.

On Monday, the London Metropolitan Police announced that it will stop assigning officers to stand outside the embassy in order to arrest Assange on the off chance that he emerges. In a statement, the department indicated that it wanted to stop throwing away money on the operation, which has cost more than £11.1 million ($17.1 million) since June 2012: 

Like all public services, MPS resources are finite. With so many different criminal, and other, threats to the city it protects, the current deployment of officers is no longer believed proportionate … Whilst no tactics guarantee success in the event of Julian Assange leaving the embassy, [we] will deploy a number of overt and covert tactics to arrest him.

While the statue of limitations on the molestation charges ran out this summer, Assange can be charged with rape until 2020, which means the cops still have some time to come up with a more effective strategy than what they’ve been doing.