A staggering 70.4% of car thefts went unsolved in South Wales police force last year, an analysis by the Welsh Liberal Democrats has revealed. Meanwhile, just 5.7% of car thefts in the force’s area resulted in a charge or summons.
In Gwent, 66% of car thefts went unsolved.
Liberal Democrat General Election candidate for Cardiff Central Cllr Rodney Berman warned that the UK Conservative Government is overseeing a “car theft epidemic”, as criminals act with impunity while victims are denied justice.
The analysis, based on the latest Home Office statistics on crime outcomes, showed that, across England and Wales, a grand total of 100,258 car theft cases were closed in 2022 without a suspect even being identified - equivalent to nearly 275 car thefts going unsolved every day. It follows previous research by the party that showed that police failed to even attend 3 in 4 car thefts last year.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing - where officers are visible and trusted, with the time and resources to focus on preventing and solving crimes. Since 2015, the Conservatives have also taken over 4,000 Police Community Support Officers off the streets.
Commenting Cllr Rodney Berman said:
“There is a car theft epidemic across the country, which Conservative ministers are totally failing to tackle. Criminal gangs are being allowed to act with impunity while victims are denied justice. The UK Government is effectively decriminalising car theft by letting these gangs get away with it.
“People just want to know that if their car is stolen or house broken into, the police will turn up and properly investigate it. But this Conservative government has decimated community policing, leaving victims of crime to fend for themselves.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats want to see a return to proper community policing, making our streets safer and ending this free-for-all for criminals.”