‘Sometimes it is just not possible to identify a suspect’

Detection rates: Leyland Inspector Steve Evans
Detection rates: Leyland Inspector Steve Evans

Police have taken ‘no further action’ on more than 40 per cent of crimes reported in South Ribble between April and December.

New figures released on the police.uk website show that 860 crimes have still not been detected – 350 are still under investigation (28.2 per cent), while 510 incidents fall under the category, ‘no further action at this time’ (41.1 per cent).

This compares to just 105 cases where the suspect was charged (8.5 per cent) but the police inspector for Leyland says that the figures do not paint a full picture.

Inspector Steve Evans said: “We strive to bring as many criminals to justice as possible, and between April and December 2012, the detection rate in South Ribble was 37.5 per cent, which means 37.5 per cent of all crimes had a positive outcome.

“Further to this, I would like to point out that some of our most significant crimes, such as violent crime, are the ones which record the highest detection rates and it is our determination to make sure this trend continues.

“In South Ribble, 54.2 per cent of all violent crime is detected.

“It is also worth noting that the figures from the police.uk website do not include the use of restorative justice (which is not classed as a detection, but is nevertheless a positive outcome), when offenders are often tasked with community projects as part of payback for the victim or area where the crime was committed.

“With some offences, this approach can be more meaningful for the victims and we work with the offender to stop it happening again in the future.”

He added: “While every effort is made to investigate all crimes, unfortunately sometimes it is just not possible to identify a possible suspect or there are simply no investigative leads.

“For example the theft of a pedal cycle from a park or the theft of a gnome from somebody’s garden.

“It is these types of crimes which can account for a lot of those which are undetected.”

Of the court case outcomes, only 17 defendants were found ‘not guilty’, 19 were given a conditional discharge, 23 were fined, 42 were given community sentence, 28 were sent to prison, and none were ordered to pay compensation.