Hampshire police failing to identify suspects

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HAMPSHIRE police close investigations without identifying a suspect in eight out of 10 household burglaries and three-quarters of reported vehicle thefts, new analysis shows.  

They also ended more than half of shoplifting cases with the same outcome

Across the three offences, around 14,000 investigations in Hampshire were shut with no suspected culprit in the frame, the Press Association found.

The revelations prompted warnings that victims could be put off reporting offences, while criminals are given a 'green light to reoffend'.

Police chiefs say increased demand and reduced officer numbers mean they have to prioritise cases where there is a realistic chance of prosecution.

The figures were extracted from Home Office crime outcomes data, and cover the 12 months to March 2018.

They show that out of the 6,654 household burglary cases opened over that period by Hampshire p olice, 80 per cent were categorised as 'investigation complete – no suspect identified'.

This is used when a reported crime has been investigated 'as far as reasonably possible' and the case is closed pending further investigative opportunities.

Of the total burglary cases, Hampshire police brought 277 people to court.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the Commons Home Affairs committee, said: 'Too many investigations are closing without suspects being identified and we are hearing increasing reports of the police being too overstretched to investigate.

Police forces are under immense pressure.’