OPINION: Harsh truth of figures

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The statistic revealed in The Star today that three-quarters of crimes in South Yorkshire are going unsolved is naturally a cause for concern.

If an offence, particularly a serious one, was committed against ourselves or our loved ones, we would all expect the police to catch the culprit, who would then be dealt with appropriately by the justice system.

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Therefore it is completely understandable that the son of murder victim Pat Grainger feels aggrieved by the fact his mum’s killer has gone unpunished for 17 years.

But behind the statistics lies a harsh truth. The police cannot be realistically expected to solve every crime, for a wide variety of reasons, not least the fact that proper processes and standards of evidence must be met in each case.

Also, compared to many major cities, Sheffield remains a safe place to live, with the local crime rate at its lowest for 25 years.

The reputation of South Yorkshire Police has taken an unprecedented battering recently, with the Hillsborough, Orgreave, child sexual exploitation and Cliff Richard scandals exposing them to criticism from all quarters. However, on a day-to-day basis the force does a good job on the whole - so Sheffield residents should be careful what they wish for.