Victims of acquisitive crime have often remarked their incidents being kept under the police’s hat. In spite of obvious evidence and eyewitness, the crime is not investigated. This contradictory situation comes about due to the process of investigation. All crimes undergo an initial assessment, which will be followed by a secondary investigation only if that crime is worthy of that investigation. This depends on the crime’s ‘detectability’ and the evidence gathered from CCTV or otherwise. Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said only the “most serious crimes” and those that have a high likelihood to “produce evidence of the offender” can be dealt with due to an overwhelming amount of reported crimes. In fact, while police do respond to Personal Crimes such as homicidal and rape, they tend to give little precedence to Property/Acquisitive crimes including burglary.

The figures are disconcerting. For every 14 people in the UK, there is a surveillance camera, states the BSIA, further saying, “Effective CCTV schemes are an invaluable source of crime detection and evidence for the police. For example, in 2009, 95% of Scotland Yard murder cases used CCTV footage as evidence.” Yet, “In many crimes there are no witnesses, no CCTV and no forensic opportunities,” said Mr. Fahy. Hence, recorded number plates on notepad and images on CCTV seem to be just that-records; that never see the light of day.In London 40% of house burglaries, 23% of robberies, 81% of bike thefts and 76% of car thefts were not investigated in 2013. It is even more alarming when the Metropolitan Police declare that 40% of all crimes were screened-out…whereas 55% of crimes are not adequately investigated in the rest of the country. According to a report by HMIC, which is responsible for the inspection of the police forces in England and Wales, the GMP has until March 2015 to slash police officer posts by 19 percent. The cuts mean there will be 1,525 fewer police officers in GMP in the four years to 2015 and is equivalent to a budget cut of almost £150 million.

On the other hand, the head of the Bureau of Crime Statistics says the police have rejected reports of crime, breaching their own procedures, because of pressure to meet crime targets.  Officers had classified cases in which the alleged victims had said they did not want to give evidence as ”rejected’, even if, according to the rules, reports should only be rejected if police have ”verifiable information” that the crime did not occur. Many of the most common offences, including burglary, are routinely filed “not for action’” by telephone operators after the first report. Furthermore, in 2006, the Audit Commission reports revealed police forces were routinely failing to respond to calls from people desperately trying to report a crime. Mori research found only 53 per cent of people who dialled 999 were satisfied with the service they received. At busy times, there is not enough staff to answer the phones. The report adds: ‘The necessary systems, staff resources or processes are not in place to ensure that victims and witnesses can contact the police when they need to and receive an appropriate response.’

The findings can deal a fresh blow to public confidence in the police’s response to crime. A spokesman for Victim Support reportedly said: “Even if this process is justified by lack of evidence, the figures are likely to undermine confidence in the police among victims. If victims feel that their experience of crime is being dismissed by the very agencies that are meant to deal with the situation that risks adding insult to injury.” Besides, the repercussion of a burglary can have as much impact on victims as an assault would. The monetary value lost can be trivial compared to the sentimental value of items stolen. Ironically, the first step following a burglary, advised by the police, is to report the crime. Mr. Evans, the police and crime spokesman for Greater London Authority Conservatives, said: “A victim of crime shouldn’t feel that the police have no interest in them unless you are physically or sexually assaulted.”

No wonder Marvel and similar comics made it big with its fictional heroes which are depicted as being more appealing in their fantastic costumes, but most importantly, efficient in solving crimes than the actual police force. Forget Batman, Spiderman or Superman, people want to rely on the real heroes for a sound society; the Kevlar-clad policeman. Yet, combatting villains should equally be your responsibility, like taking precautionary measures against burglary, or being part of the new local safer neighbourhood boards being introduced in London.

At RSG Security, in the last 15 years, we have realised most people tend to think and look into security after being burgled! If you have concerns about the security of your home or commercial property, please give us a shout on 0208 123 1088. You can find out more on the range or RSG Security products at security shutters, grilles and gates