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Lawless Britain: Where are the Police? Channel 4 Dispatches

Posted 31-10-18

Shocking new research from Channel 4 highlights just how few crimes are being investigated and solved by Britain's police.

It has always been prudent to take every measure to prevent your business or home being targeted by criminals – but this research reveals just how important a robust security system is if you are not to become one of the many victims of crime where the police do not have the resources to support you or investigate the crime.

Channel 4 Dispatches recently uncovered for the first time just how many reported crimes are being dropped with little or no investigation. The most comprehensive analysis to date reveals the levels of reported crimes that many forces are choosing to screen out. This research raises concerns that Britain is now sliding into a new era of policing.

Dispatches have discovered nearly a million crimes are not being investigated fully. Dispatches implemented Freedom of Information requests and received responses from 25 police Forces – nearly 2/3 of all Forces in England and Wales.

With violent attacks and knife crime on the rise along with sex offences, police forces with fewer officers now have to choose which offences to investigate fully. Dispatches found that many offences are logged and reported but never passed to an officer for investigation.

From the responses showing latest available annual figures across England and Wales, over a quarter of crimes, 27% (27.02%), were reported screened out.

Burglary

There around 438,000 burglaries in England and Wales in 2017 – and according to recent analysis only 3% were solved.

Of the 21 Forces who provided comparable data for Burglary, on average 36% (36.42%) was being screened out.

Vehicle Crime

Last year there were more than 450,000 vehicle offences in England and Wales, including both thefts of cars and items from inside them.

  • Of the 21 Forces who provided comparable data for Vehicle Offences, on average nearly 60% (59.51%) was being screened out
  • West Yorkshire - 81% (80.65%)
  • Wiltshire - 72% (71.62%)
  • Staffordshire - 64% 'telephone resolved' (63.91%)

Retail Crime

Retail crime in the UK is one of those on the rise. It's now costing shops £700m. Four years ago new legal guidelines were brought in allowing shoplifters to avoid court if they stole goods worth less than £200.

  • Last year Bedfordshire Police dropped almost 70% (68.30%) of reports of people making off without paying for fuel
  • When it comes to theft offences (including shoplifting)
  • Sussex screened out 48% (47.72%)
  • Hampshire - 56% (55.87%)
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