Police fail to solve 128,000 crimes in four years

Northamptonshire Police have failed to solve almost 128,000 crimes since 2010

Northamptonshire Police have failed to solve almost 128,000 crimes since 2010

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Northamptonshire Police have failed to solve almost 128,000 crimes since 2010.

The number of crimes labelled as undetected in the past four years included 572 rapes, 10,978 burglaries, 3,056 vehicle thefts, 1,258 arsons and more than 16,000 violent crimes.

Burglary image

Burglary image

The figures also included 1,581 robberies, 1,107 sexual offences, 220 drug possession offences and 159 cases of drugs trafficking.

The total number of unsolved crimes for each year showed a downward trend.

In 2010 there were a total of 36,594 undetected crimes. In 2011 there were 35,517 and in 2012 there were 35,574. Last year there were 29,415 unsolved crimes and there were 6,055 in the first four months of this year.

The statistics were released to the Northamptonshire Telegraph following a freedom of information request to Northamptonshire Police.

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They show that, out of 43 police forces in England and Wales, the force sits 22nd in terms of the number of crimes it solves.

In a statement, Detective Superintendent Ivan Balhatchet, head of crime investigation, for Northamptonshire Police said: “While Northamptonshire Police recognises there is still work to be done here, the figures need to be set against a steadily improving performance in the past three years.

“We are now currently 22nd nationally in terms of solving crime and therefore broadly in line with other forces.

“Last year (2013-14) saw the resolved rate for overall crime reach almost 30 per cent (29.7 per cent) the highest rate since 2003-04 when the data first became available.

“Similarly, resolution rates for rape (17.5 per cent) are better than the previous year, resolution rates for domestic burglaries are at their highest rate for three years (14.2 per cent) almost double that of the previous year while the resolution rates for theft from vehicles is 7.6 per cent, again the highest rate for three years.

“Crucially, victim satisfaction has been growing steadily and is now at its highest ever level with almost 85 per cent of people surveyed agreeing the police deal with local concerns and things that matter in their communities.

“We are working alongside Adam Simmonds, the Police and Crime Commissioner, and his police and crime plan with its aim to bring about a 40 per cent cut in violent crime by 2016 and to provide a better service for victims generally through the Victims Voice.

“A new outcomes framework will allow us to understand those crimes where investigations will never result in a resolution because the offender is too young or too ill, there are evidential difficulties or the victim no longer wants us to proceed.

“These crimes will never be able to receive a resolution and remain undetected.

“Some of the crimes which are shown as undetected from previous years may have been undetected because of these reasons but could not be captured in previous years.

“Finally, it’s important to note that alongside the steadily improving trend for solving crimes, overall offending across the board - including violence, burglary and sexual offences - is falling.

“Our focus in the year ahead will be to continue to achieve further significant progress and help bring about our aim to become the safest place in the country.”

Ray Critchlow was behind the counter of his fish and chip shop in Olympic Way, Wellingborough, in February when two masked-men burst in.

He beat them off with a curry paddle. One suspect was caught and his case is going through the courts. The other is still free. Ray said: “The service I received from the police was impeccable.

“I have no complaints. They found one suspect very quickly.”

Our Facebook followers said they were not impressed with the service they received when they were victims of crime. Nadine Stafford was living in Thrapston when someone threw a paving slab through her window. She said: “The police wouldn’t come out, nor did they bother to find the person responsible.”

John Brennan from Corby said: “My bike was stolen from outside a Kettering working men’s club and the theft was caught on the club’s CCTV. This happened on a Sunday evening. The following Thursday I received an email from Northants Police informing me that they were unable to contact the club steward due to the fact that the club only opened at night!”

And Paul Hamilton-Testrote said: “A couple of years ago I had a shop in Wellingborough. I had a drunk come in who got abusive and was being threatening to customers. I called the police and got a victim of crime number and no help. The police station was a two-minute walk round the corner.”

Chris Roberts from Desborough said: “A cash machine outside the shop where I work was being targeted using a device which stopped the money popping out or being sucked back in. They were caught in the act and police were there within minutes to arrest the culprits.

“On a separate occasion where my girlfriend’s card was cloned at the same cashpoint the guy was caught on camera and the police found the man responsible somehow. They have continually been in touch updating us and have recently sent a letter saying that he has 12 months in prison and has been recommended for deportation.”

Total unsolved crimes by type from 2010 to 2014

‘Other’ theft: 21,796

Arson: 1,258

Bicycle theft: 4,139

Criminal damage: 29,533

Domestic burglary: 10,399

Drug possession: 220

Drug trafficking: 159

Fraud and forgery: 4,635

Misc crimes against society: 543

Non-domestic burglary: 10,579

Other sexual offences: 1,107

Possession of weapons: 100

Public disorder: 903

Rape: 572

Robbery of business property: 171

Robbery of personal property: 1,411

Shoplifting: 5,317

Theft from motor vehicle: 11,102

Theft from the person: 2,662

Theft of motor vehicle: 3,056

Vehicle interference: 1,384

Violence with injury: 8,455

Violence without injury: 8,313

Total: 127,819

Moves to put victims first

The Victims’ Voice report, published last September, put forward a number of recommendations to improve the experience of the criminal justice system for victims and witnesses of crime in the county.

Victims’ commissioner Angela Sarkis recommended measures including the creation of a new victim and witness service, extra specialist training for officers dealing with sex offences and a one-stop shop for anti-social behaviour victims.

She added that agencies needed to work together to ensure the victim is not lost in the system.

She said quick remedies including the provision of easily accessible information for victims on the police website and ensuring the 101 number has an option to report crime on it also needed to be taken.

Ms Sarkis said she was confident those would be implemented fast, but said the other proposals needed to be worked on over time.

Chief constable is sixth highest paid

The boss of Northamptonshire Police was paid £175,000 last year - making him the sixth highest-paid police officer in the country outside the Met.

Chief Constable Adrian Lee’s 2012-13 salary is featured in the Pay and Rewards Register, published by the College of Policing, which brings together the salaries of all 43 chief constables in a single online source for the first time.

It shows that Chief Constable Lee was paid a salary of £133,000, with the remainder made up of pension contributions and expenses. His salary did not rise from the previous year.

The roles of chief constable, deputy chief constable, assistant chief constable, assistant chief officer and head of corporate services together cost the taxpayer £730,079.

The College of Policing’s chief executive, Chief Constable Alex Marshall, said: “The publication of this new register is part of the college’s Integrity Programme, and allows the public to scrutinise what pay and rewards chief officers receive.

“This information has been collated in one place for the first time and shows forces are committed to being open and transparent.”