Criminal suspects are 63 per cent less likely to end up in Wigan’s courts than three years ago, figures reveal.
Shocking Home Office data shows that a suspect was charged or summonsed, which means someone is told they must attend court, for just six per cent of offences recorded by Greater Manchester Police in the period 2018-19.
This is much lower than the charge rate in 2014-15, when 16 per cent of crimes resulted in someone being brought to court.
Meanwhile, the force saw a 67 per cent increase in crime in the four years – it recorded 333,749 offences in 2018-19.
Labour says that government cuts to policing budgets have effectively led to the decriminalisation of some offences, leaving communities at risk.
Andy Cooke, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for crime, said too few offences are being brought to court for justice to be done.
He added: “This is a symptom of the strain on policing as we try to manage growing crime and demand that is ever more complex.
“We continue to work across policing and with the Home Office in advance of the upcoming government spending review.
“Our aim is to build a stronger policing system that’s properly funded so we can reduce crime, improve outcomes and build public confidence.
”Labour’s shadow policing and crime minister Louise Haigh said: “Such is the crisis created by Tory cuts, some crimes have been effectively decriminalised because the police simply do not have the resources to investigate them.
"Cuts to policing have not only left victims without justice – they’ve let serious criminals walk free, leaving our communities at risk.”
A GMP spokesman said: “Being a victim of any crime can have a devastating impact on the lives of those affected and their communities. Throughout an investigation, we continue to work closely with the victims to provide support and updates on any progress made and the eventual outcome of the investigation.
“An investigation can be a lengthy process and is never fully closed as new information or intelligence could come to light, which could subsequently lead to the arrest of an offender.
“However, in many incidents; there can be no witnesses, CCTV or forensic opportunities, which means there are no leads for officers to investigate further. Where evidence is present, officers will investigate proportionately and we also rely on the public to help us do this by reporting suspicious activity or telling us about anyone they know who they believe to be involved in crime.
“When dealing with criminality, community resolutions (including restorative justice) can also be an effective method of dealing with some offences and can empower some victims when they believe that formal action is not the route they wish to take.
“Protecting the public from harm will always be our top priority. At a time when we have fewer officers, more demand and more complex and serious crime, we have to make difficult decisions every single day to ensure we are protecting our most vulnerable and assessing the threat, harm and risk posed by each incident. The cases which are deemed the highest in terms of those three priorities are where our resources must be allocated.”