MPs have said that United Kingdom police risk becoming “irrelevant” to the population as investigations into crimes plummet and a “shockingly-low number of charges” are brought for most crimes, even though the rate of reported crimes are rising steeply.
The Committee’s data reveals that recorded crime has surged by 32% in just 3 years – yet charges and summons are down 26%.
The report explains that “in all neighborhoods, without local engagement, policing is at risk of becoming irrelevant to most people, particularly in the context of low rates of investigation for many crimes“.
Police in England and Wales are reportedly “struggling to cope” due to outdated technology, short staffed police forces, and “fragmented” leadership.
By June 2018, homicide rates rose by 14%, violent crime involving knives or blades by 12%, sexual offenses by 18%, and robbery by 22%. However, 90% of all recorded crimes do not end in any charges against suspects.
Overall, the Committee places the blame for the U.K. authorities’ failures on lack of funding.
The Committee claims that neighborhood policing has been cut by over 20% since 2010, and some forces have lost more than two-thirds of their local officers.
The Committee’s report specifies:
We conclude that forces are badly overstretched: the number of traditional-volume crimes is rising but the number of arrests and charges brought by the police is falling. Without significant reform and investment, communities will be increasingly let down.
When even an official Committee in the U.K.’s Parliament is warning of an unfolding crisis that will bear primarily on the shoulders of citizens, the situation is obviously beyond salvageable.
U.K. police seem to have a more stringent standard for policing hate speech online than taking to the streets and tackling actual crime. Whether that’s a result of a lack of funding or direction from higher-ups within the force, it’s a dangerous precedent to set.
On top of everything else, one convicted terrorist has been released weekly between March 2017 and March 2018; with notorious hate preacher, Anjem Choudary, released to the streets last week.
Unless a hard about-face is enacted in regards to funding and the priorities of police forces across the U.K., the crumbling system enacted to protect the populace will only fail to meet the needs of victims in even more spectacular fashion.