A crime is committed. The police are called in on it or discover it in some other way. They are going to pursue it until they discover the person or people behind the crime — or so would have been my understanding of how the police works. I knew that the police abandoned certain cases that were just impossible to solve for whatever reason — perhaps the criminal involved covered their traces too well. What I was not aware of was exactly the extent to which the police simply give up on cases. In the UK that number is shockingly high — and even higher in London — as many as half of the cases, according to an article in the Daily Mail:

Out of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, 21 of them were found to have dropped cases before they had even been investigated.

According to the figures, obtained by The Times under the Freedom of Information Act, the trend is constant nationally and runs at about 32 per cent.

However, the figures are even more stark in London, with almost half of allegations being dropped after an initial screening process because officers in the capital think they cannot be solved.

I cannot help but think of the common criminal and what his or her reaction may be upon reading about this large number of crimes that go unsolved — many of them not even being investigated — and then decide that it may just be worth trying to commit a crime because it could be one of those that do not ever get solved or investigated. I hope that will not be the case, however.

It seems that this is much to do with budget cuts and as we are facing our own budget cuts we fear for our own safety. If the police do not have the budget to protect us, then we are left unprotected — and that ends up costing society considerably more than what it would have to just come up with the right budget for the police in the first place. That would involve just a bit of forethought, however, and we seem more concerned with the short term budgetary woes rather than what ill may fall us for cutting budgets.

6 Comments

      1. That’s what so strange, Gordon. It doesn’t make sense to do all that work and then have the intention dropped. It just seems like an even greater waste of resources and time to pretend to care at the start and then not at all at the end.