South Yorkshire Police charge rate falls to record low - but public urged to keep reporting crimes
Despite a record low number of suspects taken to court in the county, South Yorkshire Police have urged the public to continue reporting crimes.
According to Home Office data made available earlier this month, 2,435 of the 34,106 investigations concluded in South Yorkshire between April and June resulted in a charge or summons, accounting for 7.1 per cent of all investigations.
This was down from 10.2 per cent during the same three months of 2020, and it was the lowest rate since comparable statistics began in 2014.
Over the same time period, the proportion of offenders charged or ordered to court nationally declined from 9.4 per cent to 7.6 per cent, a new low for the quarter.
But experts warned the low number of suspects brought to court has long been a 'serious issue', which has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In response, South Yorkshire Police said there were several factors that influenced the charge rates, including difficulties in obtaining evidence and the lack of support from the victim to initiate a prosecution attempt.
‘We always strive to pro-actively investigate all crimes’
A spokesperson said: “Looking at the figures for the period from April to June this year, there was a reduction in the number of charges brought in investigations.
"If you look at these figures compared with the national picture – across England and Wales for crimes recorded in the 12 months to June 2021, 6.5 per cent of investigations are charged.
“We always strive to pro-actively investigate all crimes reported to us and provide victims with the correct support during an investigation.
"We would encourage all members of the public to continue to report crimes they have suffered to give us the best chance of tracking down perpetrators and preventing further incidents from occurring.
“It is also worth noting that since March of this year, the number of cases where either there are difficulties in obtaining evidence needed to bring about a charge or where the victim does not want to support a prosecution attempt have risen back towards pre-pandemic levels, which again affects charge rates.
“However, we appreciate there are always ways to improve performance and are working hard with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure we are carrying out the best investigations we can to help them bring charges against criminals.”