The Met Police are only answering half of the number of calls it receives to its victim of crime helpline, figures released to the BBC show.
In January 2019, 80% of calls to its Crime Management Service (CMS) were answered. By September this year, that figure dropped to 49%.
One caller described it as “the worst experience I’ve had in my life”.
The force said there had been a “massive increase” in demand and it was taking measures to improve the service.
The phone number, 0208 284 5100, was set up in 2016 for victim to use to get an update on an investigation into a crime they have reported.