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Government’s austerity measures has hit the forces hard with thousands of cases being screened out due to lack of staff

Date: (10 August 2012)    |    

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The governments sweeping budget cuts to forces across the country has raised the fears that the cuts were suffocating their ability to keep Britain safe even more after the revelation that a police force had not bothered to investigate 36,000 crimes which they were not sure of solving.
It amounted to 40% of the reported cases.
Devon and Cornwall Police dropped 11,000 incidents of criminal damage and 7,700 thefts and burglaries because they weren't deemed worthy of further investigation after an initial assessment.
Last year it was revealed that one in three crimes were left out after initial screening for further investigation across England and Wales because officers thought there was little chance of success and the limited resources they had were needed to focus elsewhere.
The shock statistics were revealed after an investigation under the Freedom of Information Act.
Sergeant Nigel Rabbitts, chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Police Federation, said crime-stopping has become 'more of a books-balancing exercise' than a service the public can rely on.
He said that it was now clear that accountants were running the show rather than police officers.
He added that if there was a victim of crime in Devon and Cornwall then they relied on the police force to investigate but it appeared now that it was more of books balancing exercise than a public exercise.
He said he was certain that some victims of crime would feel that they are being let down by the police, which was not what the force wanted. But the sad fact was that, it had lost officers and were expecting to lose more as time passes by.
It is believed his force was going to lose 700 officers by 2015 which stood at its peak at 3,500. It had axed 300 posts already Mr Rabbits said waiting for another 400 to go.
He added unfortunately, they were not surprised by the figures. The budget cuts mean officers were being reduced while the demand did not.
He said that it was a sad reflection of what was happening to police budgets across the country it seemed like the service motto was going out of the police service.
An investigation last summer revealed one in three crimes (32 per cent) reported to police across England and Wales were not investigated.
Almost 650,000 out of just over two million crimes were screened out in 2010 in 21 of England and Wales' 43 forces.
London's Met Police confirmed the figure was higher in the capital, with nearly 44 per cent of crimes 'screened out' of further investigation.
Of a total of 824,495 crimes for 2010, 463,315 were 'screened in', while 361,180 were 'screened out'