85% of burglaries in Camden go unsolved

SHOCKING statistics have revealed that only 15 per cent of all burglary crimes taking place in Camden are solved.

The figures, based on the number of sanctioned detections where the burglar is caught, charged and punished, are significantly below what was being achieved towards the end of 2009 and have been slammed by residents living in burglary hotspots in the borough.

Camden police have vigorously defended their record, pointing out the borough is well on target to meet the Met’s benchmark for detection rates. But that has done little to allay fears of residents and concerned councillors.

Stephan Janes, chairman of the Harmood, Hartland and Clarence Way Residents Association, called for a greater police presence to deter burglars. He said: “I’m surprised the number is so low. It’s a serious crime and you would have hoped more than 15 per cent of these crimes were being solved. I live in Harmood Street and I have been burgled twice. A number of people in our street have been burgled – one house has been done three times.”

The figures were revealed to the Camden Community and Police Consultative Group and cover the detection rate since May.

They come just a week after a Met report revealed that up to 30 Camden police posts could be lost as part of London-wide cuts.

Many residents feel a lack of resources may already be holding the police back.

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Roger Montgomery, a member of the Belsize Neighbourhood Watch, said: “Something’s wrong there. It really should be much better. Maybe the police don’t have enough resources. I’m disappointed and surprised that the detection figure is so low.”

Opposition politicians said Camden Council should be doing more to support the police.

Liberal Democrat councillor Matt Sanders said: “Often, burglaries are concentrated in a few hotspots around the borough. The council should be identifying those streets being targeted, and working with residents to mark their belongings and secure their property.

‘‘I think residents will be horrified to know so many crimes are going unsolved.”

Det Insp Gary Randall, of Camden’s burglary unit, defended his team’s record, saying what the figures do not show is that there has been a 50 per cent reduction in the number of burglaries committed in the last three years.

He said: “In the financial year 2008/09 there was a reduction of 25.1 per cent in the number of burglaries compared to the previous year. The following year there was a further 5.7 per cent reduction and so far this year we are running at another 20 per cent reduction.

“We always want to solve more crimes although at the current time we are on course to meet our target of 16 per cent sanctioned detection rates, which is the benchmark target for the Met.”