Dedication of officers has led to rise in crimes solved

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It’s encouraging to report today that an increasing number of crimes are being solved in the Portsmouth area.

Hampshire Police Authority says the figure has gone up by three per cent, meaning that 15,894 of the 49,953 crimes committed in Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Waterlooville and the Isle of Wight in the past year had a resolution.

As a result of officers’ efforts, the victims of an extra 840 crimes can at least have the satisfaction of knowing that the miscreants responsible have been brought to book.

Of course there is another side to these statistics. A total of 34,059 crimes remained outstanding – and police authority members say more needs to be done to solve more of the crimes committed.

But these are difficult times for the police, with the force in Hampshire facing a budget cut of up to £54m by April 2015.

Stretched resources are bound to have an impact on tackling crime, so we commend officers in the Eastern area for working hard to crack so many cases. Theirs is a hard job and they show great professionalism and dedication.

As well as greater crime-solving, there was also a drop of 1,944 crimes reported in the area year-on-year. This was thanks largely to crackdowns on crimes such as robbery, house burglary and vehicle crime.

Local policing teams have been reorganised and prolific criminals have admitted other offences when arrested as part of crimes called ‘Taken Into Consideration’ (TICs) by the courts.

One investigation led to a suspect admitting 90 other burglaries. As a result of the police’s work, the victims could achieve some kind of closure.

Of course we mustn’t forget that the vast majority of people are decent and law-abiding – and they have a vital part to play in fighting crime.

The police can’t be everywhere, particularly at a challenging time when budgets are under pressure. So they rely on us to be their eyes and ears.

If we all do what we can to help, even more criminals may be swept off the streets.