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Thousands of Crimes Not Followed Up

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7:00am 10th August 2012

Pirate FM has learnt four out of ten crimes reported in Cornwall and Devon were marked "not for further investigation" last year.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed almost 37 thousand were not followed-up after the first checks.

That is everything from shoplifting to sex attacks, assaults and robbery.

Sally Piper works with victims: "If someone has just lost a partner or something else pretty big has happened in their lives, then even a small crime with, in theory, a small impact can have a massive impact. It's really important that people know that somebody's taking it seriously and doing something about it."

Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Investigation of a reported crime starts immediately within our Call Handling Centre. Those crimes, where there is viable potential for a positive outcome will be allocated for further investigation. Where there is little potential for such an outcome, victims will be informed at the earliest opportunity, offered crime prevention advice and the services of Victim Support.

"However, this is not to indicate that there will be no subsequent investigation if further information comes available. Similarly as part of our crime pattern analysis we include all crimes to identify crime patterns and series. This research can lead to identification of offenders. Where this does happen our investigators will include crimes that were not deemed suitable for further investigation, as part of that enquiry. If the suspect admits to committing these offences and goes to court, the majority of such crimes will be categorised as 'Offences taking into consideration'. This means that a Judge or a Magistrate can sentence an offender taking into consideration the number of crimes that he or she has committed. This process also gives victims a reassurance that the offender has been identified and 'their crime' has formed part of a punishment.

"Assessments of crimes for further investigation are conducted by a trained member of staff who looks at each crime to ensure that all investigative opportunities have been explored and if further investigation is required. They will also research our databases to ensure that we do not hold any other data that could identify a line of enquiry. Devon and Cornwall Police are committed to continually reviewing our investigation processes to ensure we meet the needs of the public and operate a policy to ensure that we effectively respond to all reports of crime. The local policing teams also provide reassurance visits to victims of crime where it is needed and this could be after a crime has been filed.

"Effective crime assessment is essential as it allows us to prioritise our resources to ensure we deliver the best possible service to the victims of crime."

7:00am 10th August 2012

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