Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By STEVE ROB­SON steve.rob­son@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @stever­ob­son04

A VIL­LAGE was hit by 54 crimes in one month – and only a sin­gle shoplifter is fac­ing pros­e­cu­tion.

An­gry res­i­dents have ac­cused Greater Manch­ester Po­lice of let­ting Booth­stown, Sal­ford, an area of around 10,000 peo­ple, be­come an ‘easy tar­get’ for crim­i­nals.

Po­lice say they have plans to de­ploy a ded­i­cated neigh­bour­hood of­fi­cer to the area ‘early next year.’

The lat­est fig­ures for Au­gust, pub­lished by govern­ment web­site po­lice.uk, show a steady in­crease in crime in the area com­pared to pre­vi­ous months.

In May, there were 37 crimes in the Booth­stown and El­len­brook ward, in June there were 32 and in July 45. Lo­cals be­lieve the trend is go­ing up be­cause no one is fac­ing jus­tice.

For ex­am­ple, in Au­gust there were 14 re­ports of ve­hi­cle crime and the out­come for ev­ery sin­gle one has been marked by po­lice as ‘In­ves­ti­ga­tion com­plete, no sus­pect iden­ti­fied.’

Over­all, al­most half of all crime in the ward is marked the same way.

Of the rest, 12 crimes are marked as ‘un­able to pros­e­cute,’ ten as still ‘un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion’ and one drug of­fence re­sulted in an ‘of­fender given warn­ing.’

Only one of­fence of shoplift­ing has re­sulted in a pros­e­cu­tion and is ‘await­ing court out­come.’

One lo­cal, who asked not to be named, told the M.E.N.: “We’re for­got­ten about.

“The mes­sage is be­ing sent to crim­i­nals that they can get away with it. And the more they get away with it, the more they’re go­ing to try. Crim­i­nals think Booth­stown is an easy tar­get – it in­vites it.”

“My neigh­bour had their car got bro­ken into – they had per­fect CCTV im­ages of the sus­pects and rang up the po­lice and they weren’t in­ter­ested.

“They put it on Face­book and within hour had a name and ad­dress – the po­lice still weren’t both­ered.

“Peo­ple here are get­ting to the point where they think there’s no point re­port­ing crime.

“I feel my­self, if I saw some­body break­ing into my house or my car, I would go af­ter them my­self rather than ring po­lice.

“It’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore some­body gets hurt.

“And the prob­lem is, if there’s 54 crimes in such a small vil­lage as Booth­stown, what’s the crime like around Greater Manch­ester that’s not be­ing in­ves­ti­gated? It just beg­gars be­lief.”

The crit­i­cism comes af­ter the M.E.N. re­vealed ear­lier this week that al­most half of all crimes re­ported to Greater Manch­ester Po­lice are not be­ing in­ves­ti­gated – in­clud­ing most theft, shoplift­ing, bur­glary, crim­i­nal dam­age, ar­son and pub­lic or­der of­fences.

More and more in­ci­dents are be­ing ‘screened out,’ with no of­fi­cer al­lo­cated to look at them. Some 47pc of re­ported in­ci­dents were not in­ves­ti­gated in 2017, com­pared to 39pc three years ear­lier.

Coun Robin Gar­rido, who rep­re­sents the Booth­stown ward, has slammed the per­for­mance of Greater Manch­ester Po­lice, say­ing re­cent re­sults are ‘not good enough.’ “There’s a lot of con­cern within Booth­stown about the level of crime,” he said. “The fig­ures are too high – we need po­lice to do bet­ter with their re­sources.

“It’s no good to keep com­plain­ing that ‘we’ve not got any money’ or about ‘cut­backs.’

“They’ve got a sub­stan­tial bud­get and you can’t tell me that it’s not enough to ad­e­quately po­lice the area. There comes a time when you’ve got to look at the big­ger pic­tures and how best to utilise re­sources.”

Chief Insp Lee Parker, of Greater Manch­ester Po­lice’s Sal­ford Di­vi­sion, said: “We un­der­stand the frus­tra­tion that res­i­dents of Booth­stown feel and would like to re­as­sure the com­mu­nity that we are tak­ing steps to­wards tack­ling con­cerns in and around the area.

“Be­tween June and Au­gust 2018 crime in the Booth­stown area re­duced by 11 per cent com­pared to the same pe­riod last year. Ve­hi­cle crime de­creased by 44 per cent, while bur­glary de­creased by 76 per cent. We will en­deav­our to re­duce this even fur­ther dur­ing the next few months.

“There is a con­tin­ued po­lice pres­ence in the area with force re­sources be­ing de­ployed in­clud­ing dog and traf­fic pa­trols, to­gether with our neigh­bour­hood team who reg­u­larly pa­trol known hotspots.”

He added: “We also have plans in place for early next year which will be to bring a ded­i­cated neigh­bour­hood of­fi­cer to the area. It’s vi­tal that peo­ple con­tinue re­port­ing crime to us so that we can con­sider the over­all pic­ture of crime when tar­get­ing of­fend­ers and crime hot-spots.”


Booth­stown is be­ing tar­geted by crim­i­nals who make an easy get­away

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