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Hundreds of Ipswich car crimes go unresolved as just 2.7% result in someone being charged

PUBLISHED: 07:26 28 December 2017

Car crime continues to be an issue. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO

Car crime continues to be an issue. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO

Archant

Car criminals in Ipswich are getting away with hundreds of incidents each year as new figures have revealed that less than 3% of car crimes result in someone being charged.

Information from Suffolk police revealed under Freedom of Information laws has revealed that from January to December this year there were 1,877 reported instances of thefts of or from vehicles or criminal damage to vehicles.

But just 51 of those resulted in anyone being charged – the equivalent of 2.7%.

Of the 868 reported thefts from inside vehicles, just 14 cases or 1.6% resulted in an individual being charged.

The latest figures mean that those being brought to justice for these crimes has remained well below 3% every year since 2015.

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: “One of the main challenges when investigating theft from motor vehicle offences is that forensic opportunities can be limited. For example, an offender can wear gloves and quite often only cash is stolen which is difficult to trace.

“Another factor is that thefts predominantly occur during the hours of darkness, this limits CCTV opportunities.

“Victims may also be late in reporting the incident which means the opportunity to apprehend the offender has gone.

“Although, we work hard to tackle the issues and raise awareness through our targeted campaigns, there are a number of measures that motorists can take in order to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of theft, including not leaving valuables on show in vehicles and parking in well-lit areas.”

For criminal damage amounting to more than £5,000, just four incidents were reported, but no-one was charged over the 11-month period.

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said the attitude of those behind the crimes was “unacceptable”.

He added: “Sadly this crime is the consequence of a particularly unpleasant attitude by a tiny minority of individuals who think it acceptable to vandalise and damage other people’s property. This attitude is unacceptable.

“Whilst the police cannot possibly deal with every incident nevertheless I hope those who have been charged, prosecuted and sentenced properly to deter others from similar loutish behaviour.”

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