We must help in crime fight

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THE crime detection rate in South Yorkshire is not as good as it should be, with three out of four reported offences going unsolved.

Today, the man in charge of policing Sheffield has responded to the figures revealed by The Star by saying that it is unrealistic to expect every crime to be detected.

Chief Supt Simon Torr is right. There are some crimes that quite simply are impossible to solve, such as the soaring number of bicycle thefts, reported elsewhere in today’s newspaper.

Equally, crimes committed in the dead of night, with no DNA or evidence left behind and no witnesses, will be beyond the capabilities of anyone to solve.

And then there are those offences which are put on a list of too difficult to solve without apportioning an excessive number of man hours in order to get a result.

Chf Supt Torr suggests that if we want to live in a world where every crime is solved, then we will have to give up a major part of our civil liberties, live in a society with CCTV cameras everywhere and have no privacy when it comes to our own data, such as mobile phone calls or emails.

Of course, there would be a public outcry.

Instead, Chf Supt Torr lays the challenge at our feet and says that people should take more of an active role in their society and act as the eyes and ears on behalf of the police.

Too many offences go undetected because some people are not prepared to inform on their neighbours, colleagues or friends, while others have a blind eye turned on them.

He calls for the public to help the police to solve those difficult to trace crimes. His call should be heeded.

But into the deal must come a resolve from the police to do more to improve a detection rate that while it may be on a par with other forces, still falls short of our expectations.

Roads we can be proud to drive on

IT has been a long time coming but we should be rejoicing in the fact that the £2bn work to repair our roads and improve our street furniture is about to begin.

Sheffield was given the tag of pot hole city for the parlous state of our roads - and rightly so - they are still in a terrible state of repair.

But today we can reveal the contract has been signed and work will start in August on the massive repair scheme.

The 25-year contract will mean a step change in the condition of our roads and pavements that other cities can but dream of.