Only 5.7 per cent of crimes were solved by police last year, according to new figures, as Labour condemned the Government’s “abysmal” record on law and order.
Home Office data for England and Wales, released earlier this month, revealed the proportion of crimes that resulted in a charge or summons was 5.7 per cent, although that figure represented a small increase on the previous year.
The data, which covers a 12-month period from April 2022 onwards, showed that 2.3 million crimes were dropped without a suspect being found.
The charge rate for sexual offences was 3.6 per cent, with rape at 2.1 per cent.
Only 6.5 per cent of robbery offences ended with someone being charged.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the figures were a “national scandal” as Labour pledged to boost the numbers of crimes solved if the party wins the next election.
The Opposition said it would introduce a new requirement for police forces to run direct recruitment of detectives to reverse a national shortage, with plans to bring in individuals from fields such as business fraud investigations and child protection.
Labour said fewer than half of police forces have such a scheme currently.
Ms Cooper said: “After 13 years of Tory government, over 90 per cent of crimes are going unsolved.
“That is the abysmal Conservative record on law and order – more criminals being let off and more victims being let down.
“For some serious crimes, like rape and robbery, the charge rate is now so low it constitutes a national scandal.
“For far too long in this country, too many crimes have been committed without any consequences. Victims increasingly feel like no-one comes and nothing is done. Labour is determined this has to change.”
Home Office defence
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Since 2010, our communities are safer – with neighbourhood crimes including burglary, robbery and theft down 51 per cent and serious violent crime down 46 per cent.
“The Government has delivered more police officers than ever in England and Wales and the Home Secretary expects police to improve public confidence by getting the basics right – catching more criminals and delivering justice for victims.
“As part of the Beating Crime Plan, we have also committed to giving every single person in England and Wales access to the police digitally through a national online platform.
“This will allow the public to access a range of interactive police services in one place, including information on neighbourhood police officers and their contact details, allowing them to raise concerns with neighbourhood officers directly.”
Policing minister Chris Philp accused Labour of being “soft on crime and soft on criminals”.
He said: “Where Labour are in power, crime is over a third higher than Conservative-run areas, and Sir Keir Starmer whipped his MPs to vote against tougher sentences for rapists and murderers, as well as campaigning to keep dangerous foreign criminals in the UK.
“Under the Conservatives, adult rape convictions have increased by two thirds over the last year, dangerous criminals are being locked up for longer, and there are now over 20,000 new police officers helping to keep our streets safe.”