Open season for burglars and thieves as charge rate hits record high | United Kingdom | News
Three out of four theft investigations – 1,145,254 cases – were dropped last year before anyone was detained. Only 4.7% – 73,797 thefts – resulted in a court appearance.
Frontline police said they needed to “focus much more on integrating into communities” to restore intelligence links. Many criminals are already known to police, and police visibility is seen as a vital tactic in detecting their crimes.
The overall charge rate – the proportion of crimes for which a suspect is charged – has fallen to an all-time high of 5.4%, from more than 15% seven years ago.
Sources have pointed to several reasons, including less experienced officers taking on a greater share of burglary investigations.
A senior Tory MP has said police chiefs need to focus on catching criminals rather than resolving social media disputes. Lee Anderson, of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, said: ‘There was a time when our police showed up at every burglary and more than likely knew who the thieves were.
“The hard-working British taxpayer would sooner see a copper show up at a burglary than show up at someone who has been offensive on Twitter. Common sense prevails. »
Frontline police told the Daily Express that the “ridiculous” crime recording rules mean that “we are now recording absolutely everything without any corroborating evidence”. They said a backlog of cases is forcing them to keep some criminals out of the court system to relieve the pressure.
Rich Cooke, chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, said: ‘We need to focus much more on integration into communities which will help fuel the intelligence that has dried up with this style of policing.
“Shoplifting is not even reported. The system is far too clogged at all levels and this puts pressure to keep people out of the system. Yes, the number of burglaries is at an all-time low. This is not to say that police services cannot and should not do much better.
“Prosecuting decisions are much more difficult – the evidentiary test is much higher. The criterion of “public interest” is always cited, particularly with young offenders and drugs, and it stems in large part from the prioritization of serious violence and homicides, and the lack of personnel.
“It sucks in experienced detectives, leaving less experienced [officers] to run other business.
Another officer said: ‘Chief officers need to focus their limited resources on the areas that cause the most harm. There is an element of trying to be everything to everyone.
All 43 police chiefs in England and Wales have agreed to send officers to every home burglary.
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Council of Chiefs of Police, said he hoped this would mean more burglary cases would come to court.
Interior Minister Suella Braverman backed the decision. But Labour, which has studied the data and pledged to recruit 13,000 more ward police, called the drop in the charge rate “shameful”.
MP Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, said: ‘Theft and burglary are horrific crimes and should be properly investigated, not just left to the victims. an insurance claim. The Home Secretary has no plan to turn the situation around and is instead obsessed with gimmicks rather than a serious plan to catch more criminals.
She added, “Labour has a fully costed plan to put 13,000 more neighborhood police on our streets, fight crime at its source and support communities.”