More than half of crimes reported in Greater Manchester are not being investigated because of government budget cuts, a police chief has said.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said around 60 per cent of reports were being “screened out” as part of prioritisation techniques being used by forces across the UK.
He told BBC Radio Manchester: “If you are a victim of serious crime we are really good at dealing with that still, and we are still rated as outstanding by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.
“But, in the middle, if your shed’s broken into, your bike’s stolen, your vehicle’s broken into and there’s no witnesses and there’s no CCTV and there’s no opportunity for forensics we will be screening that out really quickly.”
Mr Hopkins said although there had been a rise in police funding from council tax, 80 per cent of the force’s budget was made up of government grants, which have been cut.
He added: “Either people have to accept that a modern police service has to really prioritise against those things that cause the most harm and threat and risk in our community, or there has to be more investment.“
Mr Hopkins said Greater Manchester Police (GMP) receives around 1,600 emergency and 2,500 non-emergency calls every day, and record around 1,000 of those as crimes.
An “initial assessment” is then made about whether people are at risk, and if there are witnesses, forensic or CCTV evidence that could lead to a conviction.
“If these aren’t available to us, we work closely with the victims of crime to provide them with support, as well as an explanation for the decision,” the chief constable added.
“Around 60 per cent of crimes are not pursued for these reasons, as police cuts have seen GMP lose almost 2,000 officers since 2010, whereas the complexity of crime we’re faced with is increasing.”
A 2018 report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary revealed that some forces were unable to answer 999 calls for days because of “overwhelming” demand.
The Metropolitan Police is among the forces with a “crime assessment policy”, which gives officers new guidelines on when to stop investigations.
Details released in 2017 suggested that incidents involving a loss of under £50 would not be investigated, as well as offences where there is not a “realistic chance officers will be able to solve it”.