Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
GETTING AWAY WITH IT
CRIME victims have urged police to do more after new figures revealed that almost seven out of 10 crimes in the county are not being solved.
Out of the 36,369 crimes committed between April 2012 and March 2013, only 10,948 saw a charge or caution, leaving 68.7 per cent unsolved.
Five years ago, 75 per cent of the 49,902 crimes were not solved. The data shows that crime is going down in Oxfordshire, but police statistics make clear that they are still struggling to bring most criminals to justice.
Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld said: “Every organisation can always do better, but they are doing better than previously.”
The police data shows that 17 out of 20 burglaries were not solved last year along with nine out of 10 arsons and half of all violent attacks.
Senior police leaders said the situation was improving – but victims remain unconvinced.
Penny Little, who was whipped by a horse rider while monitoring a hunt, has not seen her attacker brought to book despite police having video footage of the attack in Clanfield.
The Great Haseley resident said: “There is an expectation of justice in this country because we do believe we live in a fair and just society.
“When you have a personal assault and it is not dealt with, it is extremely unsettling and it really does need looking at.”
Police also failed to solve 58.5 per cent of sex crimes and 71 per cent of robberies last year.
Kerry Hastings, who was punched in the head in an unprovoked attack at Oxford railway station in February last year, said the figures were shocking.
The 23-year-old of Broadway, Didcot, said: “My case closed a month afterwards. They never got the guy.
“I am shocked. I’d expect something to be done.”
George Mackenzie, who was injured when three robbers punched him in the face in a raid on his Cutteslowe home, said he was not surprised by the figures.
The 53-year-old, of Priors Forge, said: “I have been in contact with the police and let them know some information about who I think it might have been but they have, as far as I am aware, not done anything with it.”
Linda Darrall, divisional manager for Victim Support in Oxfordshire, said it was important victims knew police would take reports seriously and any decision to drop a case was explained.
She said: “It is clearly for the police to decide how best to catch criminals, and to prioritise their resources in line with this.”
The figures also show a rise in unsolved bike thefts over the last two years, up to 96.4 per cent in 2012/13 – from 91.6 per cent in 2010/11.
Richard Mann, spokesman for campaign group Cyclox, said cyclists could help police trace bikes by making better notes of their bikes.
He said: “People should take pictures of the bike and note down the frame number. It is very hard for stolen bikes to be sold to a reputable trader if the police are aware of these numbers.”
Assistant Chief Constable for operations Chris Shead said more than 40 per cent of crimes were unsolved due to lack of evidence.
He said: “Bike thefts and the thefts of mobiles often do not have witnesses or forensic evidence, both of which could lead to an offender.
“In such cases, resolution is dependent on the property being recovered and the original owner being identified.”
He said force priorities this year included cutting house domestic burglaries, rural crime, anti-social behaviour and violent crime.
He said: “The levels of reported crime for the Thames Valley are lower than they have been for six years and our officers and staff are working hard to drive these even lower.”
Thames Valley Police is working to cut £56.3m – 12 per cent of its budget – between 2011 and 2015.
The force has saved £33.4m by restricting officer recruitment, cutting police staff from 3,000 to 2,779 and centralising office services.
The total number of officers is to fall from 4,343 to 4,285, but the force is one of only four to see an increase in frontline staff – from 88 to 92 per cent.
- Seventy-two per cent of homeowners in Oxford do not have basic burglar alarms installed.
Research conducted by locks and glazing specialist Evander has shown that of those who do, 35 per cent of households do not use their alarms because they are not working.
Comments are closed on this article.