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Analysis of police data shows most burglaries in Forest Heath are likely to go unsolved




Nearly 200 burglaries reported in Forest Heath between January and November last year have seen the investigation end with no suspect identified, according to police data.

The data, which details street-level crimes and their outcomes, shows that 285 burglaries were reported in Forest Heath over that period.

Of that number, 69.82 per cent were categorised as having a last outcome of ‘investigation complete; no suspect identified’, suggesting these cases did not reach a court hearing.

While this was the most common outcome for burglaries reported in that time, the figures also show that16.84 per cent (48) were still ‘under investigation’ in 6.67 per cent (19) cases, police were and ‘unable to prosecute the suspect’.

Where were the burglaries in your area? (28018291)
Where were the burglaries in your area? (28018291)

Of the other outcomes, in one instance action was to be taken by another organisation, in two, suspects were charged as part of another case, in six, a court outcome was being awaited, and in 10 a status update was unavailable

Analysis of the data has also revealed that the highest number of burglaries, 39, were reported in January, and the lowest reported in September, with 15.

Mapping data shows an even spread of burglary targets across Newmarket and Mildenhall.

Insurance industry experts said figures such as these can be taken into account when premiums are established.

A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers said: “It is up to individual insurers how they determine home insurance premiums, many factors including local crime rates are often considered.”

A police spokesman has suggested there are limitations to the data, however, as they say the details of crimes may change after the figures are recorded.

For instance, a crime which was listed as a burglary might later be reclassified as a different type of crime - but this might not be reflected in the data.

Det Supt David Henderson, from Suffolk Police, said: “It’s important to point out that Suffolk is ranked first in the country for positive outcomes for dwelling burglary, according to national data. This means offenders have either been cautioned, or more likely, indicted in a court of law.

Forest Heath burglaries in numbers (28018289)
Forest Heath burglaries in numbers (28018289)

“That said, we acknowledge that burglary can have a devastating impact for the victims concerned. With this in mind, tackling burglary remains one of the force’s priorities. We have a specific overarching strategy and a detailed delivery plan for this type of crime, at the heart of which is a desire to do our very best for victims by conductingeffective investigations and exploiting every opportunity to identify, disrupt and prosecute those responsible.

“Obtaining evidential material that reaches a high enough threshold for prosecution can be challenging, and without this securing a charge is not always possible. That said, we work with closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure files are compiled to the highest standard and all investigations are subject to detailed audit and scrutiny processes and we regularlysecure successful convictions of burglars in this county.

“When forensic evidence is recovered from a crime scene which identifies a potential suspect, we fast track enquiries to ensure we do not waste time in arresting suspected offenders.

“Through the work of our analysts we monitor any trends or forensic similarities between crimes and we are always aware that if we see any increase in offences that this may be due to a particular individual or organised gang. We also conduct analysis to identify any‘hotspot’ areas and when these do become apparent we look to implement a relevant strategy to combat this.”

A recent report on crime, for the year ending June 2019 from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), says there was a four per cent decrease in burglary according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

“A rise or fall in police recorded crime does not necessarily mean the actual level of crime in society has changed,” the report says.

Burglary outcomes in Forest Heath (28018287)
Burglary outcomes in Forest Heath (28018287)

“The data can be affected by changes in recording practices, policing activity and victims’ willingness to report crime.”

It adds: “Police-recorded burglary offences had shown rises in recent years (six per cent in the year ending March 2018 and three per cent ending March 2017).

“However, figures for the year ending June 2019 show that the number of burglary offences decreased by four per cent.

“We believe this crime type is less affected by recording improvements than other types of crime, as it is generally well-reported by victims and well-recorded by the police.

“CSEW domestic burglary has shown no significant change in recent years.”

Data for the area which includes Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and East Cambridgeshire showed:

- There were 2,125 burglaries reported in Cambridge, East Cambridgeshire and South Cambridgeshire between January and November 2019

- The most common outcome of burglaries reported in Cambridge, East Cambridgeshire and South Cambridgeshire between January and November 2019 was ‘investigation complete; no suspect identified’ at 77.18 per cent (1,640), followed by ‘under investigation’ at 11.01 per cent (234) and ‘unable to prosecute suspect’ at 5.04 per cent (107)

And for St Edmundsbury, the figures are:

- There were 358 burglaries reported in St Edmundsbury between January and November 2019

- The most common outcome of burglaries reported in St Edmundsbury between January and November 2019 was ‘investigation complete; no suspect identified’ at 66.20 per cent (237), followed by ‘under investigation’ at 18.99 per cent (68) and ‘unable to prosecute suspect’ at 7.82 per cent (28)


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