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