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Case closed: Surrey Police write off 36,000 unsolved crimes

November 28, 2020 2:33 PM

No suspect was identified Spelthorne Liberal Democrats Paul Kennedy for PCC (Spelthorne Liberal Democrats)85% of burglaries

An investigation by the Lib Dems has uncovered that 36,284 crimes were closed by Surrey Police last year without a suspect being identified.

Data from the Home Office reveals that Police in England and Wales abandoned 2.2 million crimes in 2019, including more than 300,000 burglaries in 2019 - with a third of forces closing more than 80% of cases before they were solved.

Surrey had one of the worst records on burglaries in the country. 5,395 cases were closed without a suspect being identified, 85% of the total number recorded - only just behind the worst force, the West Midlands Police, at 89%. Nationwide there were 68,848 stalking and harassment cases, 2,632 drug trafficking, and 4,637 weapon possession offences where no suspect was identified before the case was closed.

Screening out crimes, in which a Police force marks a case as requiring "no further action", has increased rapidly over the last decade and grew from 361,180 in 2010 to 2.2 million last year, equivalent to 43% of all crimes. The practice has become the default with some crimes. As well as burglaries, more than half of all criminal damage and arson cases end up resolved this way. Where something was stolen from a vehicle, police failed to identify a suspect in 93% of cases.

Paul Kennedy, Lib Dem candidate for Surrey's Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

"It is scandalous that we are seeing over two million crimes nationally and over 36,000 crimes locally closed without further investigation. It is imperative that the Police explore every avenue and act with compassion for the victims and their families when investigating these crimes."

"We are seeing crimes committed and reports filed, yet nothing happens for months, if at all, and the reports just gather dust in a Police filing system. All the while victims are longing for justice."

"At the moment millions of people are left without justice and rightly angry that criminals are getting away scot-free."

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