Fewer than one in five criminals are being brought to justice in South Yorkshire each month, a new report has revealed.
A South Yorkshire Police report said that between April and July this year that the average number of offenders classed as being ‘brought to justice’ has fallen to 18 per cent of all crimes recorded.
The report, going to the Public Accountability Board of Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings, said that figure is expected to fall further by April next year.
It said: “This reflects a long term downward trend from 25.6 per cent in April 2014 and that is predicted to reach 15 per cent by the end of the financial year.
“Some explanation for this lies in the increase in recorded crime since April 2014.
“This has led to the recording of crime regardless of whether the victim supports a prosecution.
“For eight per cent of all recorded crime in South Yorkshire the victim will not support a prosecution, equating to 759 victims.”
The report also revealed that overall crime has increased by five per cent - equivalent to 1,600 extra offences - compared to the same time last year.
There has been a 36 per cent increase in possession of weapons offences, with 82 crimes recorded; a 32 per cent rise in the number of reported sexual offences with 282 and a 17 per cent increase in violence against the person, with 1,191 crimes of this nature.
There have also been increases in vehicle offences, public order offences and arson attacks.
But the number of burglaries has dropped by five per cent, with 186 fewer victims; while the criminal damage and bike theft has also dropped.
The report said the general increase was down to improved crime recording standards.
It said: “The driving force behind the overall force increase is in recorded violence offences which generally reflect improved standards of crime recording. Since April 2015, there has been significant improvements in the identification and recording of violent crimes resulting in the conversion of incidents to crime increasing from approximately 20 per cent to over 40 per cent due to improved processes. Public order and possession of weapons offences increases are directly linked to the proactive work of officers and staff and increases are therefore generally viewed as good news.”