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REVEALED: Crime victims facing 'postcode lottery' as police cuts bite

Only 11 out of 228 crimes in Huncoat were solved between April 2018 and March 2018

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Huncoat councillor Dave Parkins

Crime victims in Hyndburn are facing a ‘postcode lottery’ when it comes to police success in solving cases, the Observer can reveal.

Police figures show a big disparity in success rates depending upon where you live in the borough - with less than ONE crime a month being resolved by either the courts or officers in one area.

Councillors have slammed the ‘absolutely ridiculous’ figures and blamed cuts to local neighbourhood policing.

Police bosses said they are ‘committed to preventing and responding to all crimes’.

In the 12 months between April 2017 and March 2018, only 11 out of 228 crimes in Huncoat were solved, a clear up rate of 4.8 per cent, while 83 per cent of offences faced no further action.

Across Hyndburn as a whole, a total of 5,478 crimes over the last 12 months faced ‘no further action’, 70 per cent of the 7,826 recorded offences.

In Accrington town centre the figure dropped to 60 per cent no further action.

Huncoat councillor Dave Parkins has demanded more police resources for the area.

He said: “People in Huncoat pay the same rates as everybody else and obviously they are not getting the service they deserve.

“We haven’t got a PC any more and all we have is one PCSO.

“I think they are ridiculous figures and it’s about time people woke up and said enough is enough.

“I shall be lobbying the MP for more resources.”

Huncoat councillor Eamonn Higgins pictured next to flagstones theft last year

Fellow Huncoat councillor Eamonn Higgins said he was ‘surprised and disappointed’.

He said: “Unfortunately we have lost our dedicated community beat manager Paula Birch and we also lost our PCSO as well.

“We currently only have one PCSO that only works two days a week.

“I think these figures reflect the cuts to the police service in certain areas across the borough.

“I will meet with the local police inspector to see if there’s anything we can do to reverse this trend and possibly put more resources into Huncoat.”

Roy Chetham, chairman of the Huncoat Community Forum, said they are ‘very alarmed by the situation’.

He said: “I’m not surprised because there is no policing in Huncoat.

“They don’t really patrol anymore.”

‘We want residents to feel safe’

Hyndburn Police Inspector Steve Rides

Hyndburn Inspector Steve Rides said the police are ‘committed to preventing and responding to all crimes’.

He said: “It is difficult to quantify these figures without referring to each individual case, however, there can be a number of reasons why the outcome of a crime is reported as no further action.

“Generally it is due to lack of evidence, which can take the form of no witnesses to the offence, no forensic evidence, no suspect being identified or the victim choosing not to support any formal police action.

“Additionally, the decision is occasionally taken by the Crown Prosecution Service not to take a case to court as it isn’t in the public interest.

“Furthermore, under the National Crime Recording Standard, all victims linked to a crime are now counted separately, leading to an increase in figures.

“Please be reassured when a crime is reported to us we will carry out an investigation and wherever possible strive to bring a suspect to justice.

“We are committed to preventing and responding to all crimes. We want residents to feel safe and understand we will do everything possible to trace criminals.”

‘No further action’ crimes between April 2017 and March 2018 ward by ward

1) Huncoat .............................................83.3pc (190 out of 228 offences)

2) Peel, Barnfield and Woodnook ........80.0pc (897 out of 1,122 offences)

3) Church and Milnshaw ......................79.6pc (627 out of 788 offences)

4) Altham and Clayton-le-Moors .........76.6pc (541 out of 706 offences)

5) Rishton ..............................................76.3pc (351 out of 460 offences)

6) Netherton and Overton ....................75.4pc (540 out of 716 offences)

7) Central and Spring Hill ....................73.8pc (978 out of 1,325 offences)

8) Baxenden ..........................................65.6pc (107 out of 163 offences)

9) Accrington town centre ................... 60.7pc (475 out of 783 offences)

Total crimes recorded ..................................................................... 7,826

Total ‘no further action’ crimes ........................................................ 5,478

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Hyndburn average ..................................................................................70.0pc