Lack of an investigation seems odd

First published in Our View

As the thin blue line gets ever more stretched due to the public funding crisis that the economic downturn in recent years has caused, we sometimes have to accept our police force is not as well-resourced as we would always like.

But it does seem odd that a parish priest in Bradford has been told that an incident in which a car was crashed into the historic gates of his church will not be investigated because it is an “unexplained traffic accident”.

The incident was not so mysterious to the Reverend Dale Barton as it seems to be to the police – the church gates suffered damage valued at £14,000 and the smash left pieces of the car behind which the clergymen thinks can be easily identified.

Whether it is difficult to explain or not, it seems obvious that a crime has certainly been committed here – a car crashed into the gates, the driver fled the scene, failing to stop and report an accident.

Perhaps it is not so much hard to explain as difficult to investigate. But the prospect of an unsolved crime on the books certainly should not deter the police from even turning up to at least look at the scene.

Such apparent disinterest sends out all sorts of wrong messages. It seems to suggest crimes that cannot be easily solved are not worth the police’s time, and it will no doubt give hope to the perpetrators of traffic offences such as this will not be actively pursued.

Let us hope that the review being carried out by police of the circumstances of the incident six months ago lead to a more satisfactory outcome for Mr Barton – although there would seem to be even less likelihood now of the crime ever being solved because of the length of time that has been allowed to elapse.

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