Almost forty per cent of crimes across Greater Manchester are not followed up once being recorded according to a report by the Channel Four dispatches team.

Exclusive Dispatches research uncovers for the first time just how many reported crimes are being dropped with little or no investigation.The most comprehensive analysis to date reveals the levels of reported crimes that many forces are choosing to screen out. This research raises concerns that Britain is now sliding into a new era of policing.

Dispatches have discovered nearly a million crimes are not being investigated fully. Dispatches implemented Freedom of Information requests and received responses from 25 police Forces – nearly 2/3 of all Forces in England and Wales.

With violent attacks and knife crime on the rise along with sex offences, police forces with fewer officers now have to choose which offences to investigate fully. Dispatches found that many offences are logged and reported but never passed to an officer for investigation.

From the responses showing latest available annual figures across England and Wales, over a quarter of crimes, 27% (27.02%), were reported screened out with Greater Manchester, one of the highest at nearly forty per cent.

There around 438,000 burglaries in England and Wales in 2017 – and according to recent analysis only 3% were solved.

Of the 21 Forces who provided comparable data for Burglary, on average 36% was being screened out.

Last year there were more than 450,000 vehicle offences in England and Wales, including both thefts of cars and items from inside them.

Of the 21 Forces who provided comparable data for Vehicle Offences, on average nearly 60%  was being screened out.

Of the 23 Forces who provided comparable data for Violence Against The Person offences, on average 10 per cent was being screened out.

Retail crime in the UK is one of those on the rise. It’s now costing shops £700m. Four years ago new legal guidelines were brought in allowing shoplifters to avoid court if they stole goods worth less than £200.

The Home Office declined an interview with Dispatches.

But the Police and Crime Commissioner for the largest force area in the country did agree to talk. Conservative Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said:

“The police do a really good job, day in and day out, there is no doubt that there is a lot of pressure on the police service at the moment and it’s not just because there’s been reductions in budget, its because the nature of crime is changing.

So there is a lot more stuff going on in the internet that is, you know, putting a huge amount of harm onto people, onto children in our communities and the police have to have all of the resources they need to deal with that. […]

“So the cuts that have been made, I think are having consequences. So I am concerned about the resources for policing in this country and we are having a discussion with Government around how we manage that.”

And speaking about another Force’s target to screen out 56% of crime, she said:

“Well I don’t know what Force that is but that will be really concerning. I think some screening out is needed but that doesn’t mean to say that that should be a target and it should be applied across the board.”


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