Figures show 90 per cent of burglaries are unsolved

South Yorkshire Police CSI.   Picture: Malcolm Billingham D42153MB
South Yorkshire Police CSI. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D42153MB

NEW figures show that almost 90 per cent of all burglaries in Doncaster go unpunished with no suspect ever caught

Over the last three years, of more than 15,127 break-ins across the borough, 13,448 have gone undetected and no-one has been charged.

The figures, which also show that the total number of burglaries has fallen over the same period, were released under the Freedom of Information Act by South Yorkshire Police.

The statistics include both home and business burglaries, while detected incidents include those that resulteed in cautions and crimes taken into account, as well as crooks who end up before the courts.

Detective Chief Inspector Craig Robinson, South Yorkshire Police’s lead officer for burglaries, said the force currently solves around one third of all burglaries across the county as a whole and claims that compared to other forces the rate is among the best in the country.

“There has been a year-on-year reduction in burglaries and we are detecting a third of all dwelling burglaries which exceeds our 27 per cent target.

“Last year we achieved a 35 per cent detection rate, which was one of the best in the country.

“We are also ranked as one of the most improving forces,” he added.

“Rotherham’s rate for reducing and detecting serious acquisitive crime was the best in the country last year, so it is not all doom and gloom.

“Criminals are becoming more sophisticated in terms of being a lot more aware of the forensic opportunities the police have so they don’t leave fingerprints, DNA or footmarks and wear face coverings because they know they are looking at lengthy sentences if they are caught.

“They are also difficult to detect because there is usually a lack of witnesses because the crimes are often committed in the hours of darkness when there are fewer chances of being seen.

“Criminals are trying to keep one step ahead of us but equally we are trying to keep one step ahead of them too.”

He said officers are involved in ‘integrated management offender’ plans where they try to get prolific offenders on programmes to reduce re-offending rates.

DCI Robinson urged residents to help reduce burglaries by stepping up their home security and keeping valuables out of sight.

Alex Flynn of Victim Support South Yorkshire, said: “The downward trend in burglaries is positive but of course victims are left disappointed if their cases are not solved. It can lead to anxiety and fear.”