I live in the borough of Waltham Forest where recently our local Waltham Forest Guardian newspaper filed a Freedom of Information request on the rate of unsolved crime in the borough. The results were staggering - approximately 80% of crime in the borough goes unsolved. Its the same for much of London.
Here's an excerpt from the local Guardian report:
'A Freedom of Information request has revealed that since 2010, 79.5 per cent of all crimes in the borough were classified as undetected.
In the last five years detectives have failed to close 98,894 cases ranging from murder to burglary and fraud to violent attacks.
In Waltham Forest there have been 511 unsolved rape cases, as well as four murders, almost 6,000 assaults and 5,540 robberies since 2010.
A total of 9,982 crimes relating to household burglaries went unsolved, as were 856 sexual assaults.
Those responsible for 5,148 assaults have also not been brought to justice.
Waltham Forest is in the top ten London boroughs for unsolved crimes during the same period, behind Islington with 110,288, Enfield with 94,141 and Haringey with 98,570.
Barnet had the highest number of undetected cases, with 81.6 per cent of crimes remaining unsolved'.
Why is this, I asked myself?
Well, recently my residential road experienced three burglaries since January this year (2015). In one particular case, police arrived fairly promptly and dusted for fingerprints and made a few local enquiries, but that was it. It fell upon myself and a few neighbours to gather up CCTV images in which we found the culprits and forward those images to police but nothing resulted even though the images were quite good.
My take on it is that the police are simply overwhelmed with caseloads and cannot cope with the level of crime requiring investigation, so burglaries consequently fall way down the list of 'priorities'.
This isn't simply the result of cutbacks in police resources and numbers, it is my view that crime in the UK, and London in particular, is completely out of control. Even if police numbers were doubled, it wouldn't solve the problem because there isn't enough space in the prison system to cater for any more incarcerations. If police managed to arrest and convict 1000 more criminals, the prisons would have to release 1000 other criminals to make room for the new ones.
We have a massive social problem in this country and in London especially. This was evident a few years ago during the August riots when tens of thousands of thugs took to the streets. Successive governments have ignored the social problems in this country which are leading to the massive crime rate.
So, who is going to take the lead (a real lead) in London and begin to tackle the crime problem in a serious way? Forget about those 'statistics' that claim 'crime is falling' - its nonsense!
Until we begin to solve the social problems, crime will continue to run out of control.