Car thefts rose by a third last year, but police only show up to investigate less than one in four crimes
- Armed forces in England and Wales attended just 10,963 of 47,228 car thefts last year
- Car theft figures show that Avon and Somerset had the worst records
Police are showing up to investigate less than one in four car thefts amid a surge in crime.
Shocking figures reveal that troops covering England and Wales attended just 10,963 of 47,228 (23 per cent) car thefts last year.
This was a decrease from 24.72 percent the year before.
But some troops went to the crime scene for barely one in 10 car thefts, including Avon and Somerset, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
Essex Police, which sparked a furious backlash last week for sending five officers to a family cafe to seize a collection of golliwog dolls, attended just 686 of 4,920 car thefts (14 per cent) in 2022.
Police show up to investigate less than one in four car thefts amid surge in crime (stock image)
Shocking figures reveal troops covering England and Wales attended just 10,963 of 47,228 (23 per cent) car thefts last year
Members of parliament last night labeled the figures as a ‘national scandal’ and said the victims deserved better.
They also accused the armed forces of spending too much time promoting “woke” cases and checking comments on the internet instead of fighting crime at street level.
Ministers this week announced plans for a major shake-up that would see police stop recording neighbors’ quarrels and Twitter squabbles as offences.
Chris Philp, the crime and police minister, said the move would prevent police from wasting time investigating “trivial” complaints and save officers 443,000 hours a year to focus on fighting more serious crime.
The car theft figures, obtained by the Liberal Democrats through freedom of information requests, show that Avon and Somerset had the worst records. It was present in only 473 of 4,467 car thefts (11 percent).
This was followed by Bedfordshire, where officers attended 198 of 1,509 car thefts (13 percent), and Cambridgeshire, where officers attended 152 of 1,279 crime scenes (12 percent).
Other underperforming forces included Surrey and West Midlands, both of which accounted for less than a fifth of car thefts (17 per cent). The former attended 344 of 1,989, while the latter came in at 2,782 of 15,899.
Among the top performers were Cumbria, which attended the scene of 263 of 344 car thefts (76 per cent), and Durham, which attended 609 of 967 (63 per cent).
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: ‘This is a national scandal’
Of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, 22 responded to requests for information. But the numbers are thought to broadly reflect the national picture and come after the Mail revealed how just 2 per cent of car thefts lead to a suspect being charged.
The data shows the magnitude of the increase in car theft, which rose 32 percent last year to 47,228 cases – up from 35,734 – for the 22 armed forces.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: ‘This is a national scandal. People pay their fair share in taxes to fund the police force and at the very least expect an officer to arrive at a crime scene. Ministers should apologize for these shocking figures and commit to a return to proper policing.”
Tory MP Peter Bone said some police forces spend too much time on “cheerful concerns and inquiries”, adding: “Troops have a limited amount they can do and they need to focus on the things people are concerned about.”
A spokesman for the Home Office said: ‘Car theft is a truly harrowing crime and we are working closely with the auto industry and the police to ensure our response is as strong as possible. Recent figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales show that vehicle crime has fallen by 18 per cent since December 2019. We expect the police to take vehicle crime seriously and investigate it thoroughly.’