Over a third of crimes failed to prosecute suspect, figures reveal

Police cordon is in place with officer behind

Between February 2021 and January this year, 1,714 offences in East Cambridgeshire ended in failing to prosecute a suspect, higher than any other outcome. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

More than a third of crimes in East Cambridgeshire over a 12-month period ended without prosecution. 

Between February 2021 and January this year, 1,714 offences in the district ended in failing to prosecute a suspect, higher than any other outcome. 

The figures from national policing website Police.uk also found that 42.8 per cent of crimes for the latest month, being January 2022, were under investigation. 

For the same month, 24.3pc of crimes were found to have completed investigations into them or that no suspect was identified. 

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Police said: “East Cambridgeshire is an incredibly safe place to live, and we have a team of officers who are dedicated to tackling criminality. 

“There are numerous reasons why a prosecution might not be possible, such as a lack of evidence or the victim no longer supporting a prosecution.” 

The spokesperson added that the reason why many crimes are still under investigation is often due to the complex nature of them. 

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“Crimes vary in complexity and often require extensive work to reach a conclusion, which is why a large number of crimes from January remain under investigation,” they said. 

“These are being investigated thoroughly with officers working to identify suspects and seek a prosecution.” 

Between March 2019 and January 2022, 33.9pc of crimes in East Cambs ended in failing to prosecute a suspect, slightly higher than the yearly total. 

One of the most prominent crimes in the district during the same period were related to violence and sexual offences, with over 4,900 cases reported. 

“The pandemic and resulting court closures has meant real delays in cases getting to court,” Robin Weyell, of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said. 

“Sadly, this has included cases involving violence and sexual offences which can be challenging to prosecute and complex.   

“Cases such as these are a high priority for the CPS and we are working closely with victim services to improve how we communicate with victims to help them understand and support them through the process.” 

The CPS said they are working with Cambridgeshire Police to help “drive up the number of successful prosecutions” in the county.