November 23rd, 2009

Police are Lazy – Official

Posted in The Job - General by 200

According to figures obtained by the Daily Mirror – who don’t appear to have a grasp of English grammar if their headline is anything to go by: Police may not have been fully investigated up to 1.7 million crimes – the police fail to investigate, er, 1.7 million crimes a year.

18 of the UK forces have a system of ‘screening out’ crimes where there is little chance of a detection & a further 15 forces mark up certain crimes as being suitable for ‘no further action’. Basically, this means that once a crime is reported – often over the phone – if there are no apparent lines of enquiry, the crime is recorded & then nothing further is done with it unless someone miraculously confesses it at some unspecified time in the future. This leaves officers free to investigate crimes which do have a line of enquiry to follow. (in theory)

How does this balance with what the public want, I wonder, is it just common sense?

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  1. Paul says:

    The public have probably noticed that there are certain crimes which are NFAed for convenience and certain types of crime are followed through whether there is any evidence at all ; the nature of the ‘victim’ also affects the interest shown.

    November 23rd, 2009 at 17:58

  2. Fee says:

    If you guys want to ignore reports of “Britney sent me an evil text, like, cos she said, like, she wuz gonna, like, totally stab me” then carry on, please. Maybe if you keep ignoring them, they’ll go away. Unlikely, I know, but hope springs eternal.

    On the other hand, I’d be a bit perturbed if you were ignoring muggings and burglaries, for example. There may well be little to no chance of catching the offender, but I’d expect at least a visit to take a statement.

    November 23rd, 2009 at 18:36

  3. Crime Analyst (Steve - Ex West Mids) says:

    The significance or otherwise of the content in this article seems to depend on the quality of the recording process and who is ultimately responsible for the decision at ground level.

    Experienced front line officers would be eminently capable of applying common sense priorities and should be availed the discretion to make the right decision the majority of the time.

    Until the trivial stuff is eliminated, and officers are allowed to prioritise activity in the best interests of the public and all the other nonsense obstructions to “doing the job” are removed, this will remain a thorny issue.

    Rid the job of the endless form filling, box ticking bureaucracy, misguided performance targeting and politically correct motivated processes and coppers will be freed up to do the job they’d all rather be doing.

    Leave the common sense copper to make decision. Common sense coppering should determine the seriousness of the incident, the likelihood of a resolution and the current level of prioritised response.

    Not sure Alan Johnson sees it quite that way, with his “Every victim will be visited” mantra.

    November 23rd, 2009 at 21:53

  4. Tony F says:

    I have to agree with Fee. I have to say, I was a bit upset when £6,000 of plant was nicked, and absolutely nothing was done. Issuing a crime number does not count.

    November 23rd, 2009 at 22:00

  5. BDZ says:

    Fee – what’s the point in taking a statement for a crime that has no lines of enquiry?

    Statements are taken where someone needs to officially document evidence that can be used in a court i.e. where there is a prosecution or where there is likely to be one. Taking statements takes a long time and where there are no lines of enquiry are utterly pointless and very time-consuming.

    Regardless of whether it’s a murder or vandalised wing mirror or anything inbetween there are only 4 ways to solve a crime:

    1) Witnesses
    2) Forensic evidence
    3) CCTV
    4) A confession

    If there are none of these 4 present, then a crime will never be solved regardless of how many officers come round to look or how many statements they take.

    It’s gutting when you’re the victim and there are no lines of enquiry, but the police cannot create evidence where it does not exist. Simply giving a statement saying that “I am Suchabody and I own the car ABC 123 and someone has booted off the wing mirror causing £50 worth of damage” is by itself of no investigative value and won’t shed any light on who was responsible.

    It makes perfect sense that the police do not attend every report of crime or take statements from everyone because not only would this take up even more resources which are not there but ultimately there is no point beyond the PR benefits. The Home Secretary’s suggestion that every report of crime gets a visit will be utterly unworkable, partly because people report so many trivial non-crimes (Tracy called me a slag on Facebook etc) that will require attendance but there are simply not the resources to do it and there never will be.

    November 23rd, 2009 at 22:59

  6. Baz says:


    what the f@ck are you going on about?

    November 24th, 2009 at 04:25

  7. copper bottom says:


    although… Mr Grey (if he is a doctor then my cock is a carrot) …. he is more like the Master…

    November 24th, 2009 at 05:39

  8. Willing and Eager says:

    Perfectly reasonable not to investigate every crime as BDZ says. I reported my bike being stolen from the back garden about a year ago. The lady on the end of the phone asked me if the neighbours saw or heard anything, if there was any CCTV etc and then apologised profusely when she said that the bike was unlikely to be recovered. I told her that was expected on account of there being no evidence. It did however give me a bit of confidence that at least our police are prioritising to some degree, and I know that if it ever does turn up (gave the frame serial no.), it’s recorded as being mine.
    Carry on not investigating crimes with no leads.

    November 24th, 2009 at 09:01

  9. The Blue Light Run says:

    I have forgotten how many ‘crimes’ I have attended where the victim has said to me ‘do I really have to give a statement, there’s no chance of catching anyone is there?’. No, but its policy….if the victim refuses to give a statement it is actually much more difficult to file the job as undetected. The ‘every victm shall be visited’ mantra turned into ‘every victim will be visited and talked into wasting half hour of their time’. Its frustrating, pointless and much more importantly takes us off the front line. Real victims often end up waiting in vain for officers to eventually turn up to take a real statement. These poor victims may be hurt, upset, angry etc. Officer Dibble turning up an hour later goes down like a lead balloon.
    Without getting angry the whole system in my shire stinks. It’s gone from common sense policing ten years ago to the bureaucratic mess it is now. Unfortunately its here to stay and it will take a long time to turn it around.

    November 24th, 2009 at 09:52

  10. pafnootty says:

    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

    December 25th, 2009 at 13:28

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