Over 3 in 4 car theft and burglaries go unsolved in “crime catastrophe”

  • New analysis reveals 76% of burglaries and 77% of car thefts went unsolved in the year to June 2023
  • 5,916 crimes are going unsolved every day, up 10% compared to last year
  • Lib Dems accuse Home Secretary of being “asleep at the wheel” as thousands of criminals are let off the hook

New analysis from the Liberal Democrats of Home Office statistics has shown the shocking extent of rising burglaries, car thefts and other crimes going unsolved under this Conservative government.

A staggering 214,076 burglaries went unsolved across England and Wales in the year ending June 2023 – up 6% compared to the previous year. The figures show over three in four (76%) of all burglaries went unsolved in the year to June. Only 6% of burglaries resulted in a suspect being charged or summonsed.

Car thefts outcomes were similarly dire. In the year ending June 2023, 107,451 car thefts were closed without a suspect being identified, up 20% from the previous year. It means that over three in four (77%) of car thefts went unsolved in that period. Meanwhile, just 4% of car thefts resulted in a suspect being charged or summonsed.

Overall, 2,159,583 cases across all crimes were closed without a suspect being identified in England and Wales in the year to June – a 10% increase from the previous year. This is equivalent to 5,916 crimes going unsolved every single day.

South Yorkshire had the highest rate of unsolved burglaries, with a shocking 84% of all cases closed without a suspect being identified. Hampshire and Surrey followed closely behind, each with 82% of burglary cases going unsolved.

The Met also saw especially bad outcomes, with 86% of car thefts going unsolved. South Yorkshire and Essex also both saw 83% of car thefts go unsolved.

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservative Government for these dire figures, arguing that years of ineffective resourcing have left local police forces overstretched and unable to focus on frontline crimes. This includes taking over 4,500 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) off the streets since 2015, and assigning just 12% of officers to neighbourhood policing teams.

The party is calling for a new “Burglary Response Guarantee,” under which all domestic burglaries would be attended by the police and properly investigated. This would be accompanied by a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and focused on tackling neighbourhood crime.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

With the vast majority of burglaries and car thefts continuing to go unsolved, it is clear that the Conservatives are failing to get the basics right when it comes to stopping crime.

Thousands of victims are being cruelly denied justice and left feeling unsafe in their own home, as criminals get let off the hook every day. Yet, the Home Secretary seems to be asleep at the wheel as our communities pay the price.

This a searing indictment of Suella Braverman’s record as Home Secretary. Clearly, she has failed to get a handle on solving crime – and no amount of showboating or shallow promises can hide it.

This Conservative government must finally restore proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and empowered to focus on local crime. It is the only way to end this crime catastrophe.

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