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Third of crime reports are shelved within hours – including HALF of thefts and burglaries, figures reveal – The Sun

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COPS are failing to investigate hundreds of thousands of crimes with A THIRD of all those reported written off in just 24 hours.

Britain’s largest police force, The Met, binned probes into an eye-watering 36 per cent of all new cases within just one day.

 Police forces have been slammed for writing off hundreds of thousands of crimes

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Police forces have been slammed for writing off hundreds of thousands of crimes
 Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick whose force topped the table for the most investigations shelved

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Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick whose force topped the table for the most investigations shelvedCredit: Reuters

The shock new figures obtained by the Daily Mail reveal the force shelved more than half of all reported thefts and burglaries while Greater Manchester Police write off 27 per and Sussex Police 28 per cent just as quickly.

Crimes classed as “lower harm” are more and more likely to be palmed off by police amid growing fears over funding and resources.

Some UK forces will even abandon a case immediately or conduct only a cursory “desktop investigation”.

Caroline Goodwin of the Criminal Bar Association, blasted: “How serious does having your house burgled, or being mugged on a stolen bike have to be before it crosses the threshold for investigation?

“It’s a lamentable state of affairs. Quite simply victims are being ignored despite the latest tirade of trigger-happy, rhetoric-fuelled politicians who talk about unleashing a war of terror on crime.”

Harry Fletcher, of the Victims’ Rights Campaign, said victims would feel ignored while criminals were given the green light.

Quite simply victims are being ignored despite the latest tirade of trigger-happy, rhetoric-fuelled politicians who talk about unleashing a war of terror on crime

Caroline Goodwin, Criminal Bar Association

He added: “All research shows the best deterrent is the chance of getting caught yet conviction rates are falling every month for burglary and theft.”

The Met admitted 304,265 cases had been dropped within a day in 2018 – 36 per cent of the total. The figure for 2017 was 34 per cent.

Northamptonshire and Cleveland Police both reported that 40 per cent of offences were dropped at some stage.

At the other end of the scale, both Devon and Cornwall and Avon and Somerset claimed they screened out just 6 per cent of crimes in 24 hours last year.

Surrey Police reported a figure of 17.5 per cent while West Yorkshire supplied figures suggesting the rate was 18 per cent.

With more crimes and fewer officers on patrol it is taking longer to respond to incidents and there is increasing evidence that these delays hinder evidence collection, making it less likely that crimes will be solved

National Police Chiefs Council

Bedfordshire confirmed only that some crimes were screened out after a desktop investigation and Staffordshire said some were resolved “over the telephone”.

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Boris Johnson has promised to prioritise policing and announced in July he would put an extra 20,000 officers on the streets.

A National Police Chiefs Council spokesman said: “With more crimes and fewer officers on patrol it is taking longer to respond to incidents and there is increasing evidence that these delays hinder evidence collection, making it less likely that crimes will be solved.

“Police chiefs have expressed their concern about the impact on proactive policing that prevents crime, solves problems and helps people feel safe.’

A Met spokesman insisted screening was the right policy.

He added: “We need our officers to be focused on serious crime and cases where there is a realistic chance that we will be able to solve it.

“We also want them to be available to respond to emergencies and go to those members of the public that need our help the most.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “We are one of the busiest forces in the country and, with thousands fewer officers across Greater Manchester combined with increased complexity of demand, we have had to make changes to the way we work to meet the public’s need.”

A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said the force was obliged to prioritise more serious crimes and had launched a number of bicycle theft initiatives.


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