Free to burgle: Fury as police solve only one in 20 cases

31 January 2022, 11:45 | Updated: 31 January 2022, 12:08

The percentage of solved burglaries has nearly halved over seven years in England and Wales
The percentage of solved burglaries has nearly halved over seven years in England and Wales. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Police in England and Wales solved just over five per cent of burglaries last year, compared with nearly 9.4 per cent in 2015, an analysis of official statistics has revealed.

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There were 268,000 burglaries between April 2020 and April 2021, of which only 14,000 were solved.

Some 243,000 cases were abandoned due to evidential difficulties like securing CCTV or a failure to find a suspect, the Times reports.

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In just over 211,000 cases, a suspect was never identified.

The data takes into account residential and commercial burglaries.

In 2014/15, police solved close to 32,000 of 342,043 burglaries. More than 301,000 were not solved and over 8,000 have not been assigned an outcome.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper tweeted: "Huge drop in % of solved burglaries. Similar pattern with other crimes.

"Prosecution rates have plummeted. More criminals are being let off, more victims are being let down.

"Conservatives are badly failing on law & order and communities are paying the price."

Meanwhile, figures show 3.8 per cent of 40,000 burglary cases investigated by the Metropolitan Police in the last year led to a charge, summons or community penalty.

Susan Hall, chairwoman of City Hall’s police and crime committee, said: "Londoners want to feel safe in their own homes.

"Mistrust in the police is at a record high, the number of burglaries solved is at a record low, the Met are not earning that trust back.

"There are more police officers in London today than at any point in almost 20 years, the resources are clearly available.

"Sadiq Khan, the mayor, needs to abolish the failing policy of sifting out crime that the Met think will be hard to solve.

"Crimes should not be ignored just because they are difficult to solve."

The best performing police forces were Durham and Northumbria, with 12 per cent of burglary cases solved, while the figure for police in Greater Manchester was 3.7 per cent and Surrey just three per cent

The Home Office statistics also show the proportion of all crimes being solved - just one in 17 - has also dropped, including only one in 77 rapes leading to a charge.