Police investigations into reports of murders, rapes and child sex attacks are being dropped at an early stage, new figures show.
Detectives deemed more than 1.5million reported crimes to require ‘no further action’ in the past four years – with the number dismissed per year nearly doubling since 2010.
One force, Thames Valley Police has dismissed nearly 300,000 reports as not requiring further investigation since 2014, well over half of allegations reported to them, statistics obtained by The Times
Police have dropped investigations into more than 1.5million reported crimes in the last four years, raising fears cuts are hampering forces’ ability to investigate offences. File photo
The figures, released after the police watchdog warned of the ‘near perilous’ state of British policing, will raise fears that too many victims are being failed.
More than 100 reports of sexual assault against children were deemed to require no further action last year, the statistics show.
Overall, nearly 600,000 reported crimes were deemed to need no further action in 2016, up from just over 350,000 in 2010.
Burglaries constitute the largest number of crimes police believe cannot be solved, with 215,000 cases dropped since 2014.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron told The Times: ‘Behind this colossal figure are 1.5 million victims who haven’t received justice.’
Many of the cases will have been dropped due to victims not wanting to proceed, but others can be due to lack of witnesses or CCTV.
It comes after a watchdog report accused some police forces of failing the public. File photo
The National Police Chiefs Council insisted all cases could be reopened if new evidence came to light.
A spokesman said: ‘All reports of crime to the police are taken seriously and carefully assessed or investigated.
‘In the event of no further investigation, appropriate intelligence is captured and made available to local policing teams, and cases can be reopened if new information or evidence comes to light.’
The spokesman also pointed out that there are have been ‘significant changes to the way outcomes have been recorded during the last four years’.
The figures were released a month after a damning report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary accused the 43 police forces of England and Wales of failing the public.
The report found a shortage of detectives and investigators amounted to a ‘national crisis’, that too many domestic abuse cases were being written off and less than a fifth of the public had seen a beat bobby in the past month.