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Home Office data: Just 11% of crimes in Norfolk saw a suspect charged or summonsed in the year to March

Suspects are far less likely to be charged with crimes in Norfolk than five years ago, new figures reveal.

Home Office data shows a suspect was charged or summonsed for just 11% of crimes recorded by Norfolk Constabulary in the year to March.

The rate is much lower than in the year to March 2015, when 22% of crimes resulted in a suspect being brought to justice.

Charges are falling
Charges are falling

This meant someone was charged or ordered to be in court on 7,251 occasions over the year – 988 fewer than the previous 12 months.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the Home Affairs Select Committee, said a "worrying" fall in the number of crimes being dealt with nationally reflects years of high demand on police forces.

The data reflected the picture across England and Wales, where the proportion of crimes resulting in a charge or summons dropped to 7% in the year to March, down from 17% five years earlier.

Mrs Cooper described the figures as “extremely concerning”, adding: “How can public confidence in the criminal justice system be sustained if fewer crimes are being dealt with and solved each year?

“The Home Affairs Committee has warned repeatedly that this is a consequence of police forces having been overstretched for many years, and a lack of a clear strategy or sufficient leadership from the Home Office to address this worrying fall in the number of crimes being solved”.

The Home Office said it is the responsibility of chief constables and police and crime commissioners to make sure criminal cases are investigated properly.

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