Police must investigate every theft – there are ‘no trivial crimes’, home secretary says


Police must investigate every theft - there are 'no trivial crimes', home secretary says

Police forces must investigate every theft, the home secretary has said.

Suella Braverman said it was “unacceptable” crimes such as shoplifting, criminal damage and phone or car theft have been treated as “less important”.

Forces have committed to follow all “reasonable lines of enquiry” in an effort to improve investigations and drive down crime rates.

It follows a previous commitment for forces to attend every home burglary in a new set of standards announced last year.

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The standards setting body published guidance for officers in England and Wales to consider all potential evidence – such as footage from CCTV, doorbells and dashcams, as well as phone tracking – if it could lead to a suspect or stolen property.

The College of Policing said the public will therefore know what they can expect from police when they report a crime such as burglary or theft.

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The commitment, agreed by the Home Office, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing, comes as part of a “crime week” of policy announcements planned by the government.

However, Labour branded it a “staggering admission of 13 years of Tory failure on policing and crime”.

‘Confidence in policing damanged’

Ms Braverman said: “The police have made progress in preventing crime across the country with neighbourhood offences like burglary, robbery and vehicle theft down by 51% since 2010.

“Despite this success, since I became home secretary I’ve heard too many accounts from victims where police simply haven’t acted on helpful leads because crimes such as phone and car thefts are seen as less important – that’s unacceptable. It has damaged people’s confidence in policing.

“Criminals must have no place to hide. The police’s commitment today is a huge step forward towards delivering the victim-focused, common-sense policing the public deserve.”

‘All crime matters’

Writing in the Telegraph, Ms Braverman added: “Let’s be clear: all crime matters. There is no such thing as a trivial crime. And the police must not indicate to criminals that they are effectively free to break certain laws.”

’13 years of Tory failure’

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “This is a staggering admission of 13 years of Tory failure on policing and crime.

“Pursuing reasonable leads like CCTV is what the police should be doing, but – because of abysmal Tory management – over 90% of crimes go unsolved, the proportion of crimes prosecuted has dropped by more than two thirds and more criminals are getting off.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman will be interviewed on Sky News at around 7am today.


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