New data has been released that reveals the shocking percentage of burglaries that have gone unsolved in South Kesteven and Rutland
More than 87 per cent of burglaries reported in South Kesteven between January and November this year are either still unsolved or police are unable to give an update on the status of the investigation, according to the latest Home Office data.
The data, which details street-level crimes and their outcomes between January and November 2019, shows that 591 burglaries were reported in South Kesteven over that period.
Of the South Kesteven number, 51.78 per cent (306) were categorised as having a last outcome of ‘under investigation’, followed by ‘status update unavailable’ at 35.87 per cent (212) and ‘unable to prosecute suspect’ at 5.25 per cent (31)
Of the other outcomes, in one instance a defendant was found not guilty; in two cases there was a local resolution; in three more, a court result was unavailable; and in three more an offender was given a caution.
In 14 instances, an investigation was complete, with no suspect identified.
The month in which the highest number of burglaries were reported was August (64), and the fewest number of burglaries were reported in May (38).
But a Lincolnshire Police spokesman responded saying the figures were inaccurate.
She said: “We recognise an issue with our data on police.uk and we are working with them to resubmit and therefore generate correct figures for Lincolnshire.
“The information that is currently published on the website isn’t reliable. This situation obviously isn’t ideal and we have made rectifying this a priority and hopefully in the coming weeks we will have an accurate and up-to-date picture.”
In neighbouring Rutland 76 per cent (89) of the 117 burglaries ended with the investigation identifying no suspect.
A further 16.24 per cent (19) were under investigation and 5.98 per cent (seven) were ‘unable to prosecute suspect’.
The other outcomes saw one instance of ‘status update unavailable’ and another instance of ‘local resolution’
The month in which the highest number of burglaries were reported was February (14) and the fewest number of burglaries were reported in August (four).
Responding to the figures, Detective Inspector Ben Healy, Leicestershire Police’s burglary lead, said there had been a decrease year-on-year in the number of burglaries reported, including in the four beat areas in Rutland - Rutland North, Rutland South, Uppingham and Oakham Town and Barleythorpe.
He added: “The stats for Rutland are in line with the national trend, in that the majority of burglary reports result in no suspect being identified.
“Leicestershire Police takes all reports of burglary seriously and will pursue a full criminal investigation in all cases in line with our investigation standards policy. We also work in partnership with neighbouring forces to identify and tackle cross-border criminality.
“When a report of burglary is received, investigating officers look at any opportunities to identify those responsible.”
“If all viable lines of enquiry have been explored then a crime will be held on record should further evidence come to light.
“In some cases suspects are identified but evidential difficulties may arise in securing charges. Reports are also received by the force but the victim notifies officers that they will not support a criminal prosecution. As frustrating as these occasions are they still afford us valuable intelligence opportunities and help us to inform proactive work targeting specific offenders.”
Insurance industry experts said figures such as these can be taken into account when premiums are established.
A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said: “It is up to individual insurers how they determine home insurance premiums, many factors including local crime rates are often considered.”
A police spokesman has suggested there are limitations to the data, however, as they say the details of crimes may change after the figures are recorded.
For instance, a crime which was listed as a burglary might later be reclassified as a different type of crime - but this might not be reflected in the data.
A recent report on crime, for the year ending June 2019 from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), says there was a four per cent decrease in burglary according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).
“A rise or fall in police recorded crime does not necessarily mean the actual level of crime in society has changed,” the report says.
“The data can be affected by changes in recording practices, policing activity and victims’ willingness to report crime.”
It adds: “Police-recorded burglary offences had shown rises in recent years (six per cent in the year ending March 2018 and three per cent ending March 2017).
“However, figures for the year ending June 2019 show that the number of burglary offences decreased by four per cent.
“We believe this crime type is less affected by recording improvements than other types of crime, as it is generally well-reported by victims and well-recorded by the police.
“CSEW domestic burglary has shown no significant change in recent years.”
Leicestershire Police has crime prevention advice available for homeowners at: www.leics.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/