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Shock figures reveal more than 60% of crimes in Bracknell Forest go unpunished

Published: 13 May 2014 09:001 comment

SHOCK figures reveal criminals go unpunished following six out of 10 reported offences in Bracknell Forest.

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The statistics – released by the Home Office – show that in 61.48% of crimes in the borough where an outcome was reached, the culprit escaped with no action taken against him or her.

The figures cover the town centre, Bracknell central north, central south, the northern parishes, Crowthorne and Sandhurst between May 2013 and March this year.

They show that of the 4,133 'resolved’ crimes in that period, no further action was taken on 2,541 of them.

The worst area for police handing out a punishment was Bracknell’s northern parishes, which includes Warfield and Winkfield, where 383 crimes – 70.79% – went unpunished. Of the remainder of offences, 73 remain under investigation, 43 were dealt with by the police, 23 involved the suspect being sent to court and 19 saw the offender dealt with by a court.

Josie Herd, who has lived in West End Lane, Warfield, for 44 years, said: “If a crime is reported I would like to see something happen. I do think when petty crimes are committed it would be a shame to send young people to jail, but I think the police are a bit lax on following some things up.

“People have to see they can’t get away with it.”

Criminals in Bracknell town centre are most likely to face action, with only 48.36% – 266 – of the 550 crimes committed between May 2013 and March this year going unpunished. Police dealt with 72 offenders themselves, 83 were dealt with by a court and 29 more were sent to court. Some 100 further incidents are still being investigated.

In the Bracknell central north police area, which includes Crown Wood and Martin’s Heron, 760 crimes went unpunished – 60.22%.

The figure rises to 65.09% in Bracknell central south, covering Easthampstead, Birch Hill and Jennett’s Park – 660 crimes going unpunished out of a total of 1,014 offences.

The second highest success rate for punishing criminals was in Crowthorne, though there was still no action taken following 51.3% of 230 offences, while in Sandhurst the figure jumps to 66.04%.

However, Chief Inspector Dave Gilbert, police commander for Bracknell Forest, highlighted the fact crime in the borough had continued to drop as a reason for residents to be positive.

He said: "It is sometimes the case that there will be no further action taken on a crime. This can be for number of reasons, it could be due to a crime not actually taking place, it could be because a full investigation was carried out and no suspects were identified ,or it may be due to a lack of victim support. Residents in Bracknell Forest should be assured that we treat every reported crime very seriously and fully investigate it, before we deem that there is no further action to be made”.

“Overall, crime in Bracknell is at its lowest level in 15 years, which is great news and shows that Bracknell is a safe place to both live and work.

“I would like to thank the public for all of their support in helping us to reduce overall crime. We will continue to encourage people to report offences in order to help us ultimately reduce crime. Together with our partners we will continue to keep Bracknell safe.”

In neighbouring Wokingham town centre, no action was taken following 63.82% of the 912 crimes in the 11-month period, and in Ascot the figure was 63.79% of 649 offences.

To look at the statistics, visit www.police.uk

l Do you think the figures for unpunished crimes are too high or is it unrealistic to expect more offenders to be brought to justice?

Email your views to letters@bracknellnews.co.uk

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