Only one in 25 robberies is solved by the police and 80 cases a day are closed without a suspect being identified, according to official figures.
The ranking of all 43 armed forces in England and Wales shows that in some areas only 4% of robberies lead to charges.
About 30,000 robberies per year go unsolved with no suspect identified, which equates to 80 per day or just under four per hour.
The proportion that resulted in an indictment has fallen nationally from a high of 17.3 percent in 2014, when the Interior Department began collecting the data, to just 7.3 percent by 2021, according to the House’s analysis. or Commons Library for the Liberal Democrats.
The figures relate to crimes of theft of personal property involving violence or threats to the victim, known as robberies.
West Midlands Police was the worst performing force with only four per cent of robberies reported in 2022 leading to a charge against a suspect. This was followed by Northamptonshire (five per cent), Avon and Somerset (six per cent) and Hampshire (six per cent).
Thames Valley Police was the best performing police force with one in seven (14.7 per cent) robberies resulting in a charge, followed by South Wales Police (14.5 per cent), Suffolk (13.4 per cent) and Cumbria (13. 3 percent).
Sarah Olney, the spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrat Treasury Department who commissioned the study, said: “These shocking figures show that robberies are being effectively decriminalised, with far too many violent criminals.
“People feel unsafe walking their own local streets because this Conservative government has cut neighborhood policing to the bone. Victims of crime are left in the lurch while Secretary of the Interior Suella Braverman is embroiled in endless scandals.
“We need to see a return to good community policing, make our streets safer and end this free entry for criminals.”
Superintendent of Police Andy Cooke has criticized police forces for not following the basics of visiting crime scenes, investigating links to other similar crimes and providing prevention advice to the public as soon as they report a theft.
He has identified a national shortage of detectives who impede investigations, with inexperienced officers not receiving the necessary oversight to ensure investigations are completed properly.
Harvey Redgrave, chief executive of Crest Advisory who has advised three prime ministers, said it was “increasingly impossible” to ignore the “diminishing effectiveness” of law enforcement, with rates “dropping like a stone” since 2016.
“The government has introduced tougher mandatory penalties for violent offenders. When it comes to deterrence, however, all the evidence suggests that criminals respond more strongly to the likelihood of being caught than to the severity of the sentence. With so few crimes being detected and punished, offenders are encouraged,” he said.
There are indications that the courts are failing to act more harshly, despite being given more powers to impose longer sentences. A Freedom of Information request from The Telegraph found that robbers were being released from prison even though they had been convicted of up to 20 previous robberies.
The data showed that the highest number of prior convictions for theft before an offender was convicted was 20 in 2019, 12 in 2020 and nine in 2021.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: “Robbing is an invasive and distressing crime for victims and we expect police to take all incidents seriously.
“We are providing the police with the resources they need, as we have fulfilled our commitment to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers by March 2023, the highest ever.
“We are also supporting the police by providing funding for crime prevention measures, including better street lighting and CCTV, and by equipping the police with better technology to aid their investigations and catch more criminals.”
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