Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, has said that his force investigates only about 40% of crime reported to Police.
Line of Inquiry
He indicated that all crime reports were examined to see whether there were any lines of inquiry to investigate but that where no reasonable lines of inquiry exist, these matters are not pursued.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Sir Peter said:
“We look at every crime when it is reported, whether there is a line of inquiry – it might be around witnesses, house to house, forensic, CCTV, but if there is no reasonable line of inquiry, I don’t think the public would expect us to pursue that.
“It’s about the strategy that we have adopted in British policing which has led to a halving of crime over the last 10 years.
“That’s a balance between investigating crime after it has happened and targeting known offenders. Most crime is committed by a relatively small group of persistent offenders.”
Greater Manchester Police, in line with other Police forces, has faced cuts of £145.5m from 2011 to 2015 with numbers of officers falling by 19%. However, data released in July of this year appears to show a fall of 7% in recorded come by Police in England and Wales.
In a later statement, Sir Peter Fahy added:
“In the same way that the health service concentrates on the most serious illnesses and the treatments likely to have most effect, the Police have to concentrate on the most serious crimes and those where there are lines of investigation likely to produce evidence of the offender.
“In practice, this translates into about 40% of crime being actively pursued at any time.
“We look at all crimes to identify patterns of offending and to build the picture of where we need to target Police patrols. In many crimes there are no witnesses, no CCTV and no forensic opportunities.”
However, this has been met with criticism. Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton, has called the news “shocking”. He added that this will lead to a loss of confidence in the Police and called for Sir Peter Fahy to justify the “extraordinary figure”.
“De-prioritising the majority of crime is bound to lead to a loss of confidence in the Police force.
“I think those victims (whose crimes aren’t investigated) have every right to be angry. They have an expectation, having paid their council tax, that they have a better service from the Police force. I accept that they have to prioritise. I don’t accept that they should ignore the majority of crimes.”