Worst Havering streets for shoplifting are revealed as police drop crime reports
- Credit: Archant
Just over 10 per cent of shoplifting crimes are being solved in Havering as police say they are having to drop “low-level” crime reports.
According to Met Police data thieves have targeted local businesses 3,438 times since January 2017.
Of these a grand total of 3,040 - or 88 per cent of reports - ended up either being closed with no suspect identified, or are still under investigation or have not been updated since the original crime report.
Just 33 would-be thieves have been sent to prison - less than one in every 100 perpetrators.
Eight people were handed suspended sentences in just under two years and 21 were slapped with community sentences.
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A Met Police spokeswoman said: "The Met is under various pressures including financial challenges and increasing demand. As a result we are having to take decisions about how we prioritise our resources.
"Homicide, kidnap, sexual offences or domestic violence continue to be fully investigated. But lower-level, higher-volume offences such as shoplifting will have the policy applied to them to decide what level of investigation is appropriate."
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According to police data, there have been 985 incidents in shopping centres, 731 in supermarkets and 366 around parking areas and petrol stations.
The worst-hit road in the whole of Havering by shoplifting was Whitelands Way in the Gallows Corner Retail Park, where 98 incidents were reported nearby.
A total of 67 would-be thieves were reported in Romford High Street and 38 in Station Road, Upminster, while police were called 34 times to Hornchurch Road.
Nearly half of all reported offences in Havering - 1,501 - took place in Romford Town, with 15 people sent to prison as a result.
The other worst-hit wards were Gooshays with 313 crime reports, St Andrew's with 240, and Upminster with 193.
The Met spokeswoman added: "We need our officers to be focused on serious crime and cases where there is a realistic chance that we will be able to solve it. We also want them to be available to respond to emergencies and go to those members of the public that need our help the most."