Police unable to prosecute in half of all Leyland crimes

Leyland Police Neighbourhood Inspector Alison Barff-Lewis
Leyland Police Neighbourhood Inspector Alison Barff-Lewis

Half of the crimes reported to Leyland police in 2014 resulted in ‘no further action’ being taken.

Findings from the police.uk website show that between December 2013 and November last year, 941 cases (50.24 per cent) resulted in no further action because police were unable to prosecute the suspect, or there was no suspect identified following an investigation.

Only 2.46 per cent (46 offenders) were sent to prison, and just 0.91 per cent (17 defendants) were fined.

A little more than 390 cases (20.88 per cent) are still under investigation; 250 (13.35 per cent) were dealt with by police with cautions, drugs possession warnings, local resolutions or penalty notices; 74 (3.95 per cent) of suspects were charged but have not been dealt with yet; and 217 (11.59 per cent) of offenders were dealt with in court.

Fewer crimes were reported in Leyland last year than in 2013, but anti-social behaviour still remains a problem in the town.

Inspector Alison Barff-Lewis, of Leyland’s Neighbourhood Policing team, said: “Anti-social behaviour in South Ribble has reduced significantly since the previous year, which is a reflection of the work that is carried out by police and other partners on a daily basis.

“I am confident that my team are victim-focused and we are determined to tackle anti-social behaviour in communities and ensure the best outcome for victims.”

Of the 3,221 crimes which were recorded from January to November, around 1,500 related to anti-social behaviour.

During the same period in 2013, more than 3,500 crimes were reported to police in the area, including Leyland, Farington and Moss Side.

Insp Barff-Lewis said: “Crime has reduced over the last year and much of this is due to focusing resources to where the risk and threat is in South Ribble, and our partnership work.

“We always work to target offenders through enforcement if they fail to engage with police and partners and this way of working is reflected in the reduction in crime.

“We liaise closely with partners to identify tactics and agree a course of action around vulnerable areas and anti-social behaviour ‘hot spots’ which has proved successful in our night-time economy areas.

“At weekends and other key dates in the calendar where we know the demand will be high, we carry out targeted patrolling with partners.”

Violent and sexual crime is also a concern in Leyland (423 cases), being the second highest category after anti-social behaviour, followed by criminal damage and arson (294 incidents).

Insp Barff-Lewis said: “Violent crime features as one of the highest crime categories in any policing area, and most offenders are known to the victim, which is the case with a high proportion of sexual offences.

“Lancashire Constabulary invests significant resources into domestic and sexual abuse investigations and also has support mechanisms in place for victims.

“Alcohol is a contributing factor in many violent crimes, and support services are also offered to offenders to tackle their behaviour.”

Crime statistics for South Ribble as a whole remain lower than the average for Lancashire, with the borough third lowest in the list of districts for reported crimes behind Fylde and the Ribble Valley.

Non-emergency crimes can now be reported using the dedicated 101 number, and Lancashire Constabulary received more than 77,000 calls in September from people in Leyland, according to the most recent figures.

They received the most calls in May, with around 91,600 calls to the 101 line.

August was the month when most incidents were reported via 999 though, with 342 crimes being recorded that month.

The rest of summer, including June and July, were also busy months for the force.

“There are no hard and fast rules or trends to indicate more crimes are reported in the summer months,” Insp Barff-Lewis said. “But the World Cup 2014 was a major footballing event, which historically show an increase in domestic violence incidents and violent crime, and for this reason a policing response was put in place.”