ALMOST two-thirds of crimes reported to Lancashire Police last year remain unsolved, new figures show.
Between January 1 and November 30 last year, 86,749 crimes were reported to police, of which 55,208 remain undetected, equivalent to 63.6 per cent.
Some of the most serious crimes have even lower detection rates, with 80.7 per cent of arsons unsolved, along with 77.3 per cent of domestic burglaries, 89.4 per cent of non-domestic burglaries, 76.4 per cent of car thefts, 77 per cent of rapes, and 65.8 per cent of other sexual offences.
The overall detection rate has also fallen to its lowest rate in four years, with just over 36 per cent of crimes solved in 2013, down from 39.9 per cent in 2012, 38.7 per cent in 2011, and just over 39 per cent in 2010.
Victims and MPs criticised police, saying more needed to be done to bring perpetrators to justice.
Rikki Jones, from Chorley, said he had twice been the victim of an unsolved crime. The 22-year-old staff nurse said: “My brother, his friend and I were trapped inside a car and robbed at knifepoint.
“The knife was something that you would have seen in Jurassic Park.
“We contacted the police and...they knew exactly who did it but couldn't gather substantial evidence to make a prosecution.
“On a separate occasion my car was broken into. I returned to my car to find a note off the police saying they are aware my car had been broken into and to ring a certain number.
“I think it is outrageous that they are aware of these prime locations, know the offenders and continue to do nothing about it.”
The most current figures available from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, show that in England and Wales, in the 12 months leading up to March 2013, 73 per cent of crimes were left unsolved, compared with 64 per cent in Lancashire.
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said of the latest figures: “I think it’s a very poor return. If somebody has a crime committed against them, I’m sure they expect the police to bring the perpetrator to justice.
“I think the return is not particularly good, and we need to know the reason why.”
But Blackburn MP and former Home Secretary Jack Straw said: “They do not mean that the police are ignoring these crimes.
“Police need to work with the evidence that they have, and they may well have caught people but not been able to charge them with crimes.”
Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates said: “Lancashire are achieving some of the highest resolution rates for crimes regionally and indeed nationally.
“In many cases the perpetrators of the crime are known but for some reason such as their age, or that the offender later dies, they may not be prosecuted.”
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: "The public of Lancashire rightly expect Lancashire's officers to perform highly and I am committed to ensuring standards are maintained.”