High Peak MP Robert Largan has questioned police forces’ priorities in the House of Commons following a damning report by The Daily Telegraph which showed that police failed to solve a single burglary in nearly half of the country’s neighbourhoods over the past three years.
Of the 32,000 communities analysed, 16,000—equivalent to 46 per cent—had all reported burglary cases in a three-year period closed without a suspect being charged by police.
The report also revealed that some police forces no longer visit the scene of a burglary, signalling an absence of intent to even attempt to solve this invasive, traumatising crime.
Speaking in the House of Commons following a statement on the Metropolitan Police having special measures applied by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Mr Largan questioned the Minister for Crime & Policing, the Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, on police priorities.
Mr Largan asked the Minister:
“I am grateful for the Minister’s statement on the worrying underperformance of the Metropolitan police and the Mayor of London. On the wider point of underperforming police, it was recently reported that the comedian Joe Lycett was investigated for telling a joke at one of his shows. It was also reported that over the last three years, not a single burglary has been resolved in nearly half the neighbourhoods across the country. Does the Minister think those two stories are connected?”
The Minister for Crime & Policing, the Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, replied:
“I have seen both those stories; I cannot comment on the first one. On the second one, we are looking into those statistics carefully. Of course, now that we do not take into account when burglars stand up in court and say, “I plead guilty but I would like 120 other offences taken into account,” we are not necessarily sure whether we have caught the burglar in another area and have therefore solved the burglary. As my hon. Friend will know, last year we published the “Beating crime plan”, which has a chapter on “Excellence in the basics” and was specifically designed to drive forward the efficient and effective investigation of offences such as burglary.”
Robert Largan, MP for High Peak, commented:
“I am deeply troubled by the latest reports of the failure by police to solve a single burglary in nearly half of the country’s neighbourhoods.
“Burglary is a particularly traumatic crime, and it is plain wrong that many victims no longer receive a home visit from the police to assess the crime scene.
“The Government must redress these serious shortcomings as a matter of urgency.
“The priorities for British police forces must always be stopping and solving crime; bringing criminals to justice, and supporting victims.”