Less than one in ten street crimes were solved by police

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

Less than 9 per cent of ‘street crimes’ reported in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge & Malling are being solved, new figures show.

The Sunday Times released data this week which shows how thousands of reports to Kent Police are not ending with suspects being caught or punished.

Street crime relates to robbery, burglary, criminal damage and arson. In Tunbridge Wells last year there were 6,950 reports, for which 8.59 per cent were solved

For Tonbridge & Malling there were more street crimes [8,585] with 8.76 per cent solved. Both districts were below the national average of 9.1 per cent.

A similar situation was recorded across the country, with less than 5 per cent of burglary and robbery crimes being solved on average nationally.

Detective Superintendent Jon Armory, of Kent Police, said: ‘Tunbridge Wells has the lowest burglary rate in the county and both districts are very safe areas where the risk of becoming a victim remains low.

‘We appreciate that for victims, burglary is a very invasive crime and that is why we put a lot of time and effort into investigating it.

‘Similarly, the districts both have low levels of robbery, but these offences are also taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.

‘Even when a crime remains unsolved we will still actively pursue those responsible and explore all opportunities to bring the offenders to justice.’

In 2013 police forces solved 19 per cent of all crime, which shows a national 10 per cent drop in five years.

From 2010 to 2017 the number of police officers in England fell from 134,354 to 111,714.

Uttlesford in Essex, where high visibility foot patrols have been introduced, topped the list for the percentage of street crimes solved with 26 per cent.

Matthew Scott, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: ‘What is important is that Kent Police gives every victim a quality service.

‘No matter where a crime takes place, I expect it to be investigated thoroughly but I don’t set numeric detection targets for the Chief Constable to deliver against.

‘I recognise there are various reasons why a crime may go ‘unsolved’, such as a lack of witnesses or forensic evidence.’

He added: ‘For my part, I’m investing in the recruitment of up to 200 additional police officers this year and we’re retaining our 300 PCSOs.’

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