West Yorkshire Police has admitted it fails to pursue nearly half the crimes reported following initial investigations (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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West Yorkshire Police has admitted it fails to pursue nearly half the crimes reported following initial investigations
West Yorkshire Police has admitted it fails to pursue nearly half the crimes reported following initial investigations.
But the force has stressed that only less serious crimes would not be followed through and investigations can always be reopened if new information comes to light.
Police were responding after Greater Manchester Police‘s Chief Constable, Sir Peter Fahy, revealed his f`orce was only able to actively pursue 40 per cent of cases due to priorities and funding.
Sir Peter said that active and persistent offenders were prioritised, and in many cases investigations were made difficult by a lack of witnesses, CCTV footage and forensic opportunities.
Research has also shown that nearly half of crimes are “screened out” by the Metropolitan Police because they are deemed too difficult to solve.
West Yorkshire Police has now revealed that 47.8 per cent of crimes reported last year were “filed” after initial investigation.
A force spokesman said: “These crimes will be the less serious crimes.
“It is not always possible to investigate all crimes due to lack of investigative leads. It’s important that the finite resources available are focused on the crimes with the best chance of being solved, as well as proactively targeting offenders to prevent them committing offences or further offences.
“In any crime, if further information becomes available then an investigation can be reopened.”
The spokesman added: “We understand that every crime is important to the victim. We evaluate all reported crimes and factors, including the vulnerability of the victim, to assess what investigative lines can be pursued and what action needs to be taken. This means looking at, for example, whether there are witnesses, CCTV or forensic opportunities. In other words, what information is available or could be obtained to solve the crime. Most important is that the victim understands what we are doing about their crime and why.”
Jon Christopher, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents rank and file police officers, said it had difficulty obtaining figures from the Force. Mr Christopher said: “We continually ask, on the back of national figures, if we can have our figures and if we are happy that we are recording the right sort of crime – but we don’t get much of a response.”
He agreed that lack of witnesses, CCTV, or forensic evidence were issues that had to be faced. “Without any good evidence it is impossible to investigate,” said Mr Christopher.
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