POLICE in our area have been hailed for boosting the number of crimes solved by more than 840 last year.
The figure comes in a report by Hampshire Police Authority – which holds the purse-strings for policing until the new Police and Crime Commissioner is elected in November.
It reveals that the number of crimes solved in the Eastern area – Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Waterlooville and the Isle of Wight – rose by three per cent.
This means 15,894 of the 49,953 crimes committed in the last year were solved.
All-told there was a drop of 1,944 crimes reported in the area year-on-year from 51,897 – despite Hampshire police facing a budget cut of up to £54m by April 2015.
Police put the drop down to crackdowns on serious acquisitive crimes such as robbery, house burglary and vehicle crime.
Local policing teams have been reorganised and some prolific criminals have admitted other offences when arrested as part of crimes called ‘Taken Into Consideration’ (TICs) by the courts.
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘TICs are an important tactic in police investigations to solve multiple crimes committed by prolific offenders. This strengthens our service to offer closure and reassurance for victims who have been affected by distressing experiences.
‘TICs can reflect the full volume and gravity of a person’s offending when we are striving for cases to be prosecuted.
‘One meticulous investigation in the Eastern area last year led to a suspect admitting 90 other burglaries, and helping us to recover property he had stolen from people’s homes.’
Eastern area Superintendent Darren O’Callaghan said: ‘A reduction in the number of victims affected by all types of crime in the Eastern area is a tremendous result, especially during a challenging year in which we have faced delicate decisions about budgets.
‘Operation Nemesis, our crackdown on burglaries, contributed to a decrease in the number of burglaries and vehicle crimes.’
The police authority has praised Eastern area officers for driving down robberies, house burglaries and vehicle crime.
But members say more needs to be done to solve more of the crimes and to improve victim satisfaction levels.
Councillor Adrian Collett is Hampshire Police Authority’s chairman. He said: ‘The policing service on the whole is facing some tough financial choices; in Hampshire, we have made those choices while protecting visible front-line policing services.’