crime is down...but so is crime detection!


The government has recently released crime outcome statistics from figures supplied from approximately 40 police forces in the UK.

The figures show that in around 50% of crimes recorded no suspect was identified or prosecution brought. Whilst on first glimpse this might not trouble many of the public who might think that a 50% detections rate for police isn’t bad. Unfortunately it isn’t that simple and in fact I suspect that the public would be shocked to hear that in less than 10% of crimes are offender punished by the Courts.

The table below shows that between April and December 2015 in only 13.3% of crimes was an offender put before the court.


When I analysed the figures down further by way of offences which are committed against individuals, as opposed to offences such as possession of drugs I was astounded in how low the crime detection rate is.

This is compounded when you take into account that a significant number of the offences are those which are discovered at the same time that they are detected. For example when an officer stops and searches somebody and finds them in possession of a suspected controlled drugs or offensive weapons, it is not surprising that their detection rate is higher. Yet all of the figures are above are balanced against those higher figures.

So let’s look at detection of other offences individually.

Theft – This will include other dishonesty offences such as burglary, but not robbery. Nor do they include fraud as those are no longer recorded by the police at all.

These are the sorts of offences which affect us all, burglary of our homes, theft from and of our vehicles etc.

In only 9.1% of recorded crimes was a suspect identified and appeared in court. How often have you had something stolen and not reported it to the police? Obviously if those figures were included the percentage would be far lower. It is not surprising when over recent years it has become increasingly difficult to report crimes. Police switchboards are often extremely busy, you are often told to attend a police station but as local police stations are closing, you often have to travel some considerable distance and wait in the waiting room of an extremely busy divisional headquarters.

Violence – including assault and robbery.

The figures show than in an average of 15.45% of offences and offender in brought before the court but bear in mind only a fraction of those will be convicted and sentenced.

What is perhaps more worrying than anything is in relation to sexual offences. In relation to all recorded rapes only 7.1% have resulted in prosecution of an offender. Whilst this figure does not include those offences still under investigation, it isn’t much comfort to look at the figures for the previous 6 months which show that in 63% of cases there were either evidential difficulties or no offender was identified.