By Connor Steel
HOME SECRETARY Suella Braverman has challenged police forces across Britain to investigate every recorded theft and “follow all reasonable leads” to catch offenders as she announced new guidance on tackling lower level crimes on Bank Holiday Monday (August 28); the Fareham MP furthermore participating in media interviews through the morning.
Government officials are said to have been working on the “policy” since concerning data was released earlier this year by the Home Office; which outline that only 4.4% of all theft offences had resulted in somebody being charged. A larger figure of 73.8% was recorded for theft cases where no suspects had been identified and police had shut investigations.
This data covers the year concluding in March 2023, and further shows that only 3.9% of residential burglaries resulted in a charge. For cases of vehicle theft, this fell to 1.8% and this plummeted further to 0.9% when dealing with theft from an individual person; including those of mobile phones, wallets, keys, jewellery and a large variety of personal property.
Ms Braverman has instructed officers to follow all evidence such as CCTV, door / dash cam footage or GPS tracking of phone locations where there is a chance that suspects may be identified. The Fareham MP further confirmed that fresh guidance had been issued following a Home Office talk with the National Police Chiefs Council and College of Policing.
It is hoped that this instruction will increate the decreasing rate for “common sense policing” and reduce ongoing public complaints about a lack of action in such cases. Many have reported that they have had something stolen and phoned the police, who have either been given a crime number for “insurance purposes” or seen their case shut down in days.
Shadow Home Secretary Ywette Cooper stated that all “police should be pursing reasonable leads like CCTV anyway” and argued that the Tories are “boasting about asking the police to do the basic minimums that victims of crime should rightly expect”. Her Labour colleagues branded this instruction as the “staggering admission of 13 years of Tory failure”.
There are furthermore concerns that this new focus could divert police resources away from ‘high harm’ cases such as rape and sexual assault. All of which were put to Ms Braverman when speaking to media on Monday as she stated the “police have the numbers” and it is about “ensuring these resources are diverted to what I call common sense policing”.
In April the Government announced they had reached their target of 20,000 additional police officers being employed in England and Wales, bringing the total number to 149, 572. Although the figures are 3,500 higher than the Tory-Lib Dem coalition starting in May 2010 before cutting numbers, it does not account for the rise in UK population over this period.
Later on Monday, the Home Secretary refused to rule out reported plans to fit asylum seekers with electronic or a GPS tags if they enter Britain illegally. This comes as the Home Office consider moves to ensure migrants cannot abscond if not housed in immigration detentions; with detailed information available through BBC News, Sky News and ITV News.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2RMDMPW): Braverman is spotted in Westminster as she prepares for Monday media round.