Property crime has almost been “decriminalised” as the police and courts are turning a blind eye to an “epidemic” sweeping Britain, according to a study published today.
One in three burglaries and nine in 10 shoplifting cases are not even reported to police, research by the Policy Exchange think-tank found, despite theft, burglary and shoplifting accounting for three-quarters of all crime. Half of burglary victims did not hear back from the police after reporting the crime.
David Lammy, a Labour MP and former minister who compiled the report, said: “There is no such thing as a ‘victimless crime’; it is a damaging myth that needs to be dispensed with. The perception that only violent crimes have victims is inaccurate.”
The Tottenham MP believes that since the fall in overall crime began in 1995, some people who carried out more serious crimes have switched to property offences.
A Government spokesman said there were 150,000 fewer burglaries in the year ending September 2014 than when the Coalition took office, “but we are not complacent”.