For many years now there have been problems with recruitment in the UK capital's police force, but until now the London Metropolitan force has always relied on humans for its day-to-day policing.
Now, in a radical new move to cut costs and improve public confidence, robots are to patrol the toughest boroughs.
Met Commissioner Ian Blair says, "Recent studies have shown that the public would rather trust a soulless lump of metal and plastic than the police, so what better solution than to introduce robots."
So will this lead to a brave new world of Robocop-style upholders of the law?
"Not really," said the Met's head scientist, Professor Waffle. "The technology is at a very early stage. At present the robots just sit there and respond to questions. Well, when I say respond to questions, I really mean there will be a tape recorder inside each one which will be emptied once a week and listened to. And when I say listened to, I mean the tape will be shipped to India where our low paid call centre staff will listen for any crimes."
Commissioner Ian Blair added, "By introducing robots, we can dramatically reduce the costs of policing London. With the savings we will make, we have already installed a heated swimming pool in our head office.
"It will also make the streets a lot safer - for our policemen, who will be securely locked inside their police stations."