A Devon and Cornwall Police car - Credit: Submitted

Three quarters of burglaries in Devon go unsolved in 'crime epidemic'

Torbay Weekly

Three quarters of all local burglaries went unsolved in the Devon and Cornwall police area over the past five years, new analysis from the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

Only one in thirteen (7.5%) burglary cases in Devon and Cornwall led to a suspect being charged over the same period.

The Liberal Democrat candidate in the Tiverton and Honiton by-election Richard Foord has criticised the Conservative Government for 'letting criminals get away with it' and called for a return to more visible community policing.

The news comes as Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael will today (Wednesday, May 25) visit Honiton and campaign alongside Richard. He will be meeting with local residents and discussing the party’s plans to tackle the unsolved crimes epidemic

In total over 18,526 cases of burglaries reported to Devon and Cornwall police were closed without a suspect being identified between 2018 and 2021, equivalent to more than ten a day. This makes up three in four (75%) of the 24,655 burglary cases reported to the force during this period. In the past year alone, 1,951 burglary cases were closed without a suspect being identified.

The Liberal Democrats have set out a three point plan to reverse years of Conservative neglect and keep communities safe from crime:

  • Restore proper community policing, where officers are more visible, trusted and known personally to local people.
  • Reverse Conservative cuts to youth services by investing an extra £500 million a year
  • Scrap Police and Crime Commissioners and use the £50 million savings to invest in frontline policing and solving crimes.

Commenting on the figures, Richard Foord, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the upcoming Tiverton and Honiton by-election, said: "Boris Johnson and the Conservatives are failing our communities and letting far too many criminals get away with it.

"Everyone should be able to feel safe in their own homes, and know that if someone does break in they will be caught and punished. But that’s simply not the case for far too many families here in Devon, and we rarely ever see local police on our streets anymore due to cutbacks.

"The upcoming by-election is a chance for people to show the Conservative government that they have had enough of being taken for granted. I will make it a priority to invest in front-line policing and keep our communities safe from crime.”

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said: “These shocking figures show Devon and Cornwall are facing an unsolved burglaries epidemic.

“Conservative cuts have left the area with a shortage of detectives to investigate these crimes, and as result thousands of victims are being left without the justice they deserve.

“We need a return to proper community policing here in Devon, with officers, time and resources focused on preventing and solving crimes.”

Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez has been contacted for a comment.