54 CRIMES ...ONLY ONE MAKING IT TO COURT
VILLAGERS SAY THEY ARE EASY TARGET AND POLICE AREN’T DOING ENOUGH
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