Seven per cent of crimes in a year ending with suspect in court

Millions of cases are going unsolved with only SEVEN PER CENT of crimes committed in a year ending with a suspect in court in an all-time low, records show

  • 33,460 less suspects were charged or ordered to be in court than previous year
  • Most common reason for case being closed due to no suspect being identified 
  • Figures for victim not supporting further action also risen to highest on record 
  • Lowest charging rate was for rape, with 1.4% of offences leading to prosecution

Millions of cases are going unsolved with only seven per cent of crimes committed last year ending with a suspect in court in an all-time low, records have shown.

Figures for the proportion of crimes in England and Wales resulting in a charge or summons have steadily declined from 15.15 per cent in the year to March 2015 to seven per cent in the 12 months to March this year, according to the Home Office. 

This meant suspects were charged or ordered to be in court on 350,863 occasions last year. This is 33,460 fewer than the previous 12 months when there were 384,323. 

Figures for the proportion of crimes in England and Wales resulting in a charge or summons have declined to seven per cent in the 12 months to March this year (file photo of Old Bailey)

The most common reason for a case being closed continued to be due to no suspect being identified, the report said. This happened in more than 2.1 million cases (43.1 per cent).

In nearly a quarter of cases (24.2 per cent, or more than 1.2 million cases), the victim did not support further action. 

This has continued to rise to the highest level on record, compared with 8.7 per cent in March 2015.

The lowest charging rate was for rape, with just 1.4 per cent of offences recorded by police leading to prosecution. 

Just 1.4 per cent of rape offences recorded by police leading to prosecution with the crime being the lowest charging rate, according to the Home Office figures (file photo)

In these cases, two in five (41 per cent) were closed because the victim did not support further police action against a suspect, the report said.

Earlier this week, an annual report from Dame Vera Baird, the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, warned that the country is in effect witnessing ‘the de-criminalisation of rape’.

She added: ‘In doing so, we are failing to give justice to thousands of complainants.

‘In some cases, we are enabling persistent predatory sex offenders to go on to reoffend in the knowledge that they are highly unlikely to be held to account.

‘This is likely to mean we are creating more victims as a result of our failure to act.’

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