One million crimes go unsolved in ‘Blue Wall’ constituencies in southern England with no suspect identified in half of recorded crimes in some areas
- Four of the five worst-performing police forces for car thefts are in the Blue Wall
Nearly one million crimes went unsolved in ‘Blue Wall’ constituencies in southern England over the past year.
Out of 2,177,121 crimes recorded in areas such as Hertfordshire, Surrey and Kent, no suspect was identified in almost half – 989,034 – of cases between April 2022 and March 2023. This is equivalent to 2,710 a day.
Four of the five worst-performing police forces for attending car thefts are in the Blue Wall, defined as 14 constituencies in the south of England traditionally held by the Conservatives.
In Avon and Somerset just 28 of burglaries were attended in 2022, while a fifth of car thefts were unsolved. Nearly 900 car thefts went unattended in Surrey in the first six months of 2023, while more than 560 car thefts were unattended in Cambridgeshire.
Rishi Sunak has made crime a significant campaign issue going into next year’s general election, with pledges to attend all incidents and mandatory life orders for serious offenders.
Four of the five worst-performing police forces for attending car thefts are in the Blue Wall, defined as 14 constituencies in the south of England traditionally held by the Conservatives (Stock image)
Rishi Sunak (pictured) has made crime a significant campaign issue going into next year’s general election
But the Liberal Democrats, who obtained the new figures, have blamed the removal of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) from the streets as a major factor in the failure to obtain justice in many cases.
They found three of the five worst affected police forces for PCSOs cuts are in the Blue Wall, such as Bedfordshire, which has seen 82 per cent of its PCSOs slashed since 2015.
Lib-Dem home affairs spokesman Alastair Carmichael said: ‘With figures like these, it’s no wonder that crime is coming up on the doorstep for us again and again.
‘Victims across the Blue Wall are being left to suffer with no justice while criminals are given free reign to target local communities.’
Last night the party passed a policy motion to restore community policing and provide a guarantee for police to attend and investigate all burglaries.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
‘The government has delivered more police officers than ever in England and Wales. and the Home Secretary expects police to improve public confidence by getting the basics right – catching more criminals and delivering justice for victims.
‘Since 2010, our communities are safer, with neighbourhood crimes including burglary, robbery and theft down 51% and serious violent crime down 46%.
‘The Home Secretary called for every force to send an officer to investigate the scene of every home burglary and secured a police commitment to pursue all ‘reasonable lines of enquiry’ which will help drive up performance and public confidence.’