Metropolitan police solved just 6% of burglaries last year

The Metropolitan police solved six out of every 100 burglaries last year, nearly half the rate their officers cleared up five years ago.

The force says over half of the burglaries they used to record as solved came from people who admitted a string of other offences after they were arrested. The force says this practice, called taking into consideration (TIC) other offences, was open to abuse.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met’s commissioner, became embroiled in a public spat a fortnight ago with other police chiefs after saying his force would continue to send an office to every burglary.

Sara Thornton, the chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, had said cuts would mean an officer may not attend every scene or might take longer to get there. She said big funding cuts could mean victims of burglary could be asked to send video and pictures of the aftermath to police.

The Met says that over half of its clear-ups in 2010-11 were gained from offenders who were arrested and then admitted to other offences. The force said there were problems with the integrity of that practice and they have largely stopped counting TICs as burglaries they have solved.

Before it changed the way the way it counted, the Met caught offenders in 11% of burglaries, against a national average of 15.5%, according to figures from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. That disparity is even worse now the Met has stopped relying so heavily on offenders admitting other offences.

Comparable forces serving big urban areas did better. Greater Manchester police solved 14% of burglaries from homes, West Midlands 13%, and West Yorkshire 18%. The City of London force claimed a 25% clear-up rate for burglaries, and South Wales claimed a 37% rate.

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