Po­lice didn’t find sus­pect in 75pc of ve­hi­cle thefts

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Paul Brit­ton

NO sus­pects were iden­ti­fied in three quar­ters of ve­hi­cle thefts re­ported to Greater Manch­ester Po­lice, a sur­vey has found.

The force closes around four in five res­i­den­tial bur­glary cases with­out iden­ti­fy­ing a sus­pect, ac­cord­ing to the study.

The Press As­so­ci­a­tion sur­vey also found al­most half of all shoplift­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions fail to find a sus­pect. GMP said a re­duc­tion in of­fi­cers meant the force ‘ has to fo­cus our re­sources where they are needed most’.

The study, how­ever, has prompted warn­ings that vic­tims could be put off re­port­ing crimes.

Labour said the fig­ures showed forces were ‘too over­stretched to in­ves­ti­gate’ and the fail­ure to iden­tify sus­pects was giv­ing ‘crim­i­nals a green light to re-of­fend’.

Fig­ures for shoplift­ing, theft or ‘unau­tho­rised tak­ing’ of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle and res­i­den­tial bur­glary were ex­tracted from Home Of­fice data for all 43 po­lice forces in Eng­land and Wales, plus Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice.

The anal­y­sis, which cov­ers the 12 months to March and re­flects the po­si­tion as of June, found recorded shoplift­ing and ve­hi­cle theft lev­els were at their high­est in years.

To­gether the 44 forces logged 106,334 of­fences but for 81,788 of them, an out­come of ‘in­ves­ti­ga­tion com­plete – no sus­pect iden­ti­fied’ was recorded.

More than half – 59 per cent – of all shoplift­ing crimes re­ported go un­solved with no sus­pect be­ing iden­ti­fied in Greater Manch­ester, the sur­vey found.

Across all forces, 81 per cent of a to­tal 249,235 res­i­den­tial bur­glary of­fences recorded in 2017/18 were closed with­out a sus­pect be­ing iden­ti­fied. In terms of GMP, the rate stood at 88 per cent of all cases, the sec­ond high­est fig­ure na­tion­ally.

Our sis­ter pa­per, the M.E.N., re­ported ear­lier this year how a new way to steal ‘key­less’ cars was fu­elling a huge rise in thefts.

The method, in­volv­ing two rel­a­tively-cheap de­vices to ‘trick’ a ve­hi­cle into think­ing its en­try fob is nearby, was sus­pected of con­tribut­ing to a 44 per cent in­crease in re­cent years - twice the na­tional av­er­age.

Po­lice chiefs said in­creased de­mand and re­duced num­bers meant forces had to pri­ori­tise cases with a re­al­is­tic chance of pros­e­cu­tion.

The Home Of­fice said it ex­pected po­lice to take all re­ports of crime se­ri­ously.

A spokesman said: “How­ever we recog­nise that crime is chang­ing and po­lice de­mand is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly com­plex.

“That is why we have pro­vided a strong and com­pre­hen­sive £13bn fund­ing set­tle­ment to en­sure the po­lice have the re­sources they need to carry out their vi­tal work.”

81 per cent of res­i­den­tial bur­glary of­fences in 2017/18 were closed with­out a sus­pect be­ing iden­ti­fied

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