Victims left to suffer as overwhelming majority of burglars get away with it
PUBLISHED: 07:34 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 07:34 27 November 2018
The vast majority of burglars, who leave behind ‘emotional devastation’ to victims in Weston, slip through the grasp of the law, a Mercury investigation has revealed.
A shocking 89 per cent of burglaries in the Mercury patch since 2017 did not result in a conviction, despite assurances from top cops that tackling the crime ‘remains a priority’.
The data, which shows most victims never receive the comfort of justice, was unearthed via a freedom of information request submitted to Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
The hotspot for burglaries was Weston town centre, with 151 of 180 incidents unresolved, while in the Bournville beat area 139 of 158 break-ins went unpunished.
Rural areas, in particular, saw poor success rates, with just three per cent of burglaries in Yatton and six per cent in Weston villages – which includes Banwell, Bleadon, Hutton and Winscombe – ending with punishment by the courts.
In total, 1,035 of 1,167 burglaries in the Mercury patch did not result in a conviction.
North Somerset Police Commander Leanne Pook said burglary ‘remains a priority’ and ‘positive action’ is being taken.
She said: “We don’t ever underestimate how traumatic and unsettling a burglary is for victims. For many, the emotional devastation caused often far outlasts the time it takes to deal with the physical mess and replacing belongings. It’s such an intrusive experience.
“We are determined to increase the number of people we are bringing to justice in relation to burglary offences but also know these investigations can be challenging evidentially, particularly in rural settings.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens believes multi-agency efforts are essential.
She said: “There is a huge personal toll from a crime like this and sadly there are many reasons why some burglaries are not always solved.
“If you have been a victim of burglary I do not want you to be deterred in reporting this crime.
“Working together, with the police, probation, prisons, drug services and the criminal justice system, we are committed to bringing burglars to justice.
“It’s important we are all safe and feel safe in our homes and there is a lot of good advice on the police website.”