Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'Police Must Stop Sending out the Message That They've Given Up'

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'Police Must Stop Sending out the Message That They've Given Up'

Article excerpt

AS FORCE CHIEFS BLAME CUTS FOR CRIMES NOT BEING INVESTIGATED, ONE MP SAYS NEGATIVE MESSAGES ARE BEING SENT TO OFFICERS

ALMOST half the crimes reported to Greater Manchester Police are not being investigated, we can reveal - including most theft, shoplifting, burglary, criminal damage, arson and public order offences.

The number of violent crimes not followed up by officers has also quadrupled in four years.

Murder and drugs possessions offences are now the only two categories of crime to have bucked that increase since 2014. Police chiefs have blamed sharp cuts to officers numbers under austerity, but one MP has warned the force's leadership seems to have 'given up.' .

Since 2014, the number of incidents reported to Greater Manchester Police has rocketed by nearly three-quarters, according to figures released to the M.E.N. under the Freedom of Information Act.

At the same time more and more incidents have been 'screened out',' with no officer allocated to look at them. Some 47 per cent of reported incidents were not investigated last year, compared to 39pc three years earlier. That included more than three-quarters of vehicle offences and thefts such as pick-pocketing and bag-snatching, 70pc of bike thefts, 62pc of criminal damage and arson reports and most burglaries.

One-in-four crimes listed as 'stalking or harassment' are not being looked into, as well as a fifth of weapons possessions. Where around 19pc of shoplifting offences were screened out in 2014, in 2017 the figure had shot up to 62pc.

And while all murders have been investigated, there has been a sharp rise in the proportion of other violent crimes that have not. Last year more than 17,000 violent offences - many of which resulted in injury - were screened out, almost four times more than in 2014.

There also appears to have been a gradual increase in the number of rape offences screened out, although the numbers are still low.

In 2014, 13 reported cases were not investigated, while 26 have already been left with no officer assigned to them in the first eight months of this year. …

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