UK & World News
Police Chief: 60% Of Crimes Not Investigated
The head of Britain's second largest police force has admitted that 60% of all crimes reported in his area are not investigated.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said his officers are only able to follow up about 40% of offences.
He said his force targets persistent offenders who commit the most crimes.
His admission comes against a backdrop of huge cuts to police spending, which will see force budgets slashed by 20% in real terms by 2015.
Sir Peter, who is vice-president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said: "In the same way that the health service concentrates on the most serious illnesses and the treatments likely to have most effect, the police have to concentrate on the most serious crimes and those where there are lines of investigation likely to produce evidence of the offender.
"In practice, this translates into about 40% of crime being actively pursued at any time.
"We look at all crimes to identify patterns of offending and to build the picture of where we need to target police patrols. In many crimes there are no witnesses, no CCTV and no forensic opportunities."
Blackley and Broughton Labour MP Graham Stringer criticised his comments and said taxpayers expect officers to investigate criminal behaviour.
"That sounds like bureaucratic gobbledegook. De-prioritising the majority of crime is bound to lead to a loss of confidence in the police force," he told the Manchester Evening News.
"I think those victims (whose crimes aren't investigated) have every right to be angry. They have an expectation, having paid their council tax, that they have a better service from the police force."
Javed Khan, chief executive of independent charity Victim Support, said: "It is clearly for the police to decide how best to catch criminals, and prioritise their resources in line with this.
"However, for victims and the public to have confidence in the police, they need to know that, when they make a report, it will be taken seriously and adequately assessed.
"Likewise, any decisions to pursue or otherwise must be properly explained to them."