Suffolk: Police defend varying crime detection rates

SUFFOLK: Only a quarter of crimes committed in the Trimley and Bucklesham areas last year were solved by police, according to the latest “postcode lottery” figures released by the force.

The results of a Freedom of Information request show the detection rate for crimes committed in the relatively rural IP10 area in 2009/10 was just 23 per cent.

Meanwhile, culprits were identified in 45pc of cases in the IP1 post code zone – covering Ipswich town centre, Whitton and Whitehouse.

But a senior officer explained the disparity by pointing out that in 2009/10 there were 6,184 crimes in IP1 compared to 194 in IP10.

Superintendent David Skevington said comparing detection rates gave a false picture as the types of crimes committed in the town centre, such as shoplifting, night-time violence and drunkenness, are likely to happen when police were nearby.

He said: “The vast majority of those crimes happen in areas which are heavily populated or places where people visit, such as shops, pubs and public spaces.

“Those are areas where police are often deployed in greater numbers and are also where there is most CCTV. There will be fewer police in rural areas than in urban areas, but there is less crime.

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“However, we do our best to make sure we respond promptly to calls in relation to crime and our response times across the county are still very much within the targets set down by the Home Office.”

In total there were 14,136 crimes reported in 2009/10 in the four post codes allotted to Ipswich.

IP2 (Maidenhall, Stoke Park and Chantry) had 2,302 recorded offences. IP3 (Rosehill, Greenwich, Gainsborough, Priory Heath and Warren Heath) had 2,581. Both codes had detection rates of 29pc.

In IP4 (St Helen’s Street, California, Colchester Road, Woodbridge Road, and part sof the town centre) there were 3,069 crimes with a 38.4pc detection rate.

IP11 (Felixstowe and Walton) had 1,967 reported offences with a detection rate of 30pc.

In IP5 (Kesgrave and Martle-sham) the detection rate was 26pc as was IP6 (Westerfield, Creeting, Needham Market, Playford, Claydon). In IP7 (Hadleigh and Bildeston areas) it was 27pc.

In IP8 (Sproughton, Belstead and Bramford areas) it was 31pc. IP9 (Wherstead, Capel St Mary and the Shotley peninsula) had 26.5pc.

n What do you think of the detection rates? E-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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