Forces have resources to meet police investigations pledge – Braverman

Police forces have committed to follow all ‘reasonable lines of inquiry’ in an effort to improve investigations and drive down crime rates (Peter Byrne/PA)
Police forces have committed to follow all ‘reasonable lines of inquiry’ in an effort to improve investigations and drive down crime rates (Peter Byrne/PA)

Suella Braverman has insisted that police have the resources necessary to meet a pledge to follow all “reasonable lines of inquiry” in a renewed effort to crack down on crime.

It comes after the standards setting body published guidance for officers in England and Wales to consider all potential evidence – such as footage from CCTV, doorbells and dashcams, as well as phone tracking – if it could lead to a suspect or stolen property.

The public will therefore know what they can expect from police when they report a crime such as burglary or theft, according to the College of Policing.

It said this will make the service more consistent across regions and solve more crimes.

While the pledge applies to all crimes, Ms Braverman has implored officers to act on leads for phone or car theft, shoplifting and criminal damage.

She said that no crime is “minor” as she hailed the announcement as a “landmark”.

The Home Secretary faced questions about whether officers will have the resources to investigate all crimes or whether it could see efforts diverted from more serious investigations.

“The police have a record number of men and women working on their front line than ever before. So they have the numbers of people who are there,” she told BBC Breakfast.

“This is about ensuring that those resources are properly diverted to what I call common sense policing, back-to-basics policing, that they don’t dismiss certain crimes as unimportant or minor.

“It’s about ensuring that they are freed up from doing other time-consuming tasks.

Suella Braverman
Suella Braverman wants to see a drastic change in the way police approach crimes such as burglary (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

She said that Government efforts were “about freeing up police time from needless bureaucracy”.

More than 20,000 extra recruits joined police forces in the past three years, but it followed thousands of job cuts under the Conservatives as part of a series of austerity measures.

The Government has also been warned that population growth since austerity began in 2010 means that there are fewer officers per capita now.

The new commitment, agreed by the Home Office, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing, comes as part of a “crime week” of policy announcements planned by the Government.

Labour branded it a “staggering admission of 13 years of Tory failure on policing and crime”.

The move comes on top of a previous commitment for forces to attend every home burglary in a new set of standards announced last year.

Ms Braverman has also asked for plans from police chiefs on how they intend to improve visibility in communities.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “This is a staggering admission of 13 years of Tory failure on policing and crime.

“Pursuing reasonable leads like CCTV is what the police should be doing, but – because of abysmal Tory management – over 90% of crimes go unsolved, the proportion of crimes prosecuted has dropped by more than two-thirds and more criminals are getting off.

“Instead of supporting our brave officers to catch criminals, the Conservative government have cut neighbourhood policing by nearly 10,000, left a 7,000 shortage of detectives and allowed the growth of appalling delays between the police, CPS and courts.

“The fact that the Tories are boasting about asking the police to do the basic minimum that victims of crime should rightly expect, whilst failing to tackle the underlying problems they have caused, shows how badly they have failed over the last 13 years.

“The Tories are weak on crime and the causes of crime. Labour will put 13,000 extra neighbourhood police and PCSOs back on our streets, increase detective recruitment and ensure more crimes are charged to keep our streets safe.”