According to new research Kent Police is failing to identify a suspect in almost half of all the crimes reported.
During a twelve month period spanning 2016/2017 out of 131,500 crimes across the county a suspect was not traced in 62,600 of the cases, that translates to 48 per cent.
It places Kent in mid-table when compared to the other 42 forces in England and Wales.
Sussex Police identified people in 50 per cent of cases with figures of 104,600 incidents reported and 52,000 suspects.
Researchers from the Sun newspaper sifted through 10,000 pages of ‘Crime Outcomes’ held by the Home Office. The data is made up from records filed by all forces in England and Wales and covers every crime reported to police, from murder to vandalism.
Figures show that the number of crimes reported nationally were 4.2million with 48 per cent seeing a suspect named.
Forces claim that the figures might ultimately be proved to be inaccurate because police may identify criminals at a later date.
The worst ‘performing’ force was Greater Manchester with a 65 per cent rate of failing to name suspects. The best was Dyfed-Powys with a figure of 30 per cent.
Chief Superintendent Nicola Faulconbridge of Kent Police told the Times: “While these headlines are designed to grab people’s attention, I would like to reassure the people of Kent that we are working hard to provide a first class service and keep people safe – something HM Inspectors found when Kent Police was graded as ‘outstanding’ for legitimacy on December 12.
“Kent is the only force in England and Wales to achieve this grading for three years in a row.
“Officers will always seek to bring offenders to justice, and there are many factors to be considered when trying to identify a suspect for a crime. For example, whether there are any witnesses, the forensic evidence available and any other information or evidence such as CCTV or dashcam footage.”
Chief Supt Faulconbridge said the figures will include crimes where there is no evidence or information to identify a suspect.
“In these cases, following an initial investigation to identify any lines of enquiry, the crime is filed pending any further information coming to light and a crime report number is given to the victim,” she added.
“This allows officers to concentrate on identifying those offenders who cause the greatest threat of risk and harm and safeguarding vulnerable victims.”