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Greater Manchester Police: 43% of crimes not fully investigated

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

More than 40% of the crimes reported to Greater Manchester Police are 'screened out'

More than 40% of crimes reported to Greater Manchester Police are not fully investigated because of a lack of resources, it has said.

Chief constable Ian Hopkins said budget cuts have meant officers had to prioritise more ruthlessly than ever.

He said about 430 offences a day, such as thefts from vehicles, were being "screened out" and not pursued because "we don't have enough officers".

The Home Office said it was "committed" to ensuring forces have enough funding.

The number of frontline police officers across England and Wales has fallen over the past decade, while violent crime is rising.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said it had lost about 2,000 officers during that time, down to about 6,200.

'Necessary evil'

"If your life is in danger, you've been seriously hurt, we will still turn up," Mr Hopkins told BBC Radio Manchester.

"If there's an immediate threat we will be there and we will be there in numbers.

"If your shed's been broken into, your bike's stolen, your vehicle's broken into and there's no witnesses, there's no CCTV and there's no opportunity for forensics, we'll be screening that out really quickly.

"Your likelihood of a police officer turning up to deal with that is almost non-existent and that's where the public have really started to feel it. That bit worries me."

One of Mr Hopkins' senior officers, Supt Rick Jackson, said screening out crimes was "a necessary evil".

GMP is not the only force to screen reported crimes on the basis of threat and the likely evidence available.

But Mr Hopkins publicly acknowledging the fact that the majority of crimes reported to his force are dropped is thought to be the first time a chief constable has put a figure on this practice.

One man told the BBC he had moved from Manchester to Rossendale in Lancashire after "finally being driven out of the house by crime".

He said: "I was burgled eight times in five years in Cheetham Hill and had vehicles stolen.

"The police would come round and take notes, but they weren't doing anything.

"You could tell by the attitude, there were no forensics done, there was nobody taking in-depth notes and no follow-up."

He said he was left "frustrated and annoyed", adding: "The police are a waste of time."

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