Police failed to identify burglars in seven out of 10 cases last year according to official figures published by the Home Office. In what will be a stinging embarrassment to Home Secretary Theresa May it also emerged that 49% of all crimes reported to the police went unsolved.
The police authorities failed to identify an offender in more than 1.5 million crimes while the number that were tried was smashed down 0.5% in the year until June with just 596,000 thieves grabbed by the judicial system in the first figures of their kind that looked at detection and clear-up rates of all police forces across England and Wales. Of 3.5 million crimes recorded last year only 16.7% led to the offenders being charged or even summoned to court.
More than 17,000 officers have been axed since May became home secretary in 2010 as she has slashed police funding on the back of what she has explained are falling crime figures. A further 22,000 officers are expected to lose their jobs in the next round of cuts.
Last year May said: "Police reform is working and crime is falling."
In all theft offences, including the burglary tally, 70% of offenders got away with their crimes as they were never traced that was more than one million suspects. Among all theft offences, including burglary, 70% of offenders were never traced, or just over one million criminals. Offenders in criminal damage and arson cases were an estimated 317,000.
In violent and sex crimes around 12% of suspects were never traced, or 92,000 suspects in total. The report showed the highest level of violence in a decade at more than 830,000 crimes during the 12 month period.
In a separate report from the Office for National Statistics the organisation said that there were 5.1 million cybercrimes and frauds in the year and 2.5 million offences under the Computer Misuse Act including hacking.