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Thousands of crimes reported to Kent Police remain unsolved

More than half of crimes reported to police in April have been left unsolved after officers were unable to prosecute, or even identify, a suspect.

This happened in 10,315 out of 16,975 cases, according to the latest crime statistics.

The figures also show a third of crimes reported remain under investigation and just 1% have been solved.

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Stock image

The figures, provided by data.police.uk, give a detailed record of each crime committed in the county, and whether it has led to a conviction.

The data is collected using information from police, which is then cross-referenced with the Ministry of Justice.

Discounting incidents of anti-social behaviour, which cannot be tracked in the same way as other offences, 16,975 crimes were committed across the county in April.

More than 10,000 of these cases have failed to lead to a conviction, while 5,381 reports are currently being investigated and 518 awaiting a court outcome.

Just 197 incidents have led to the punishment of an offender, with the most common deterrent handed out being a caution.

In 10 cases, the offender was sent to prison, and 62 reports led to a drugs possession warning.

One defendant was sent to Crown Court as a result of their crimes, and one found not guilty of the offence committed.

While this could be seen as a positive, as cautions are a warning issued by police to those who have committed low-level crimes, the number of cases left unsolved remains high.

The data also comes at a time when the number of police officers in England and Wales are at their lowest level since the late 1980s.

Deputy chief constable Tony Blaker. Picture: Andy Payton
Deputy chief constable Tony Blaker. Picture: Andy Payton

Deputy chief constable Tony Blaker said: "There are a total of 21 different outcomes for recorded crime and these can vary from a charge or caution, to community resolution and in some instances establishing no crime has taken place.

"The prospect of obtaining a charge is based on the evidence available to officers and support from the victim in progressing the investigation.

"Any outcomes involving community resolutions are made with the full support of the victim and where the offender admits responsibility for their actions.

"While the outcome of an investigation is very important, Kent Police’s main focus is always the needs of the victim.

"When a victim contacts Kent Police to report a crime a number of processes begin and these can include offering advice and support, putting in place safeguarding measures as well as commencing an investigation.

"Domestic abuse, which can play a part in many of the offences where outcome rates may appear to be low, is a complex crime where victims sometime contact the police because they want intervention and not necessarily a prosecution.

"Kent Police is always looking for ways to improve its charge rates and bring offenders to justice but its number one focus is always on putting victims first and making sure they are safeguarded and given the support they need."

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