FEWER burglaries were solved by police last year, despite a fall in the number of break-ins, new figures reveal.

More than 85 per cent of offenders in East Lancashire escaped justice in 2013, up from 82 per cent the year before, statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act show.

In the same period, the number of burglaries dropped slightly from 3,946 to 3,914.

The figures have been blamed on sentencing guidelines, which mean captured crooks no longer receive more lenient sentences for admitting other crimes, making it unlikely they will own up to everything they have done once caught.

Det Insp Vinny DeCurtis, from the Eastern Division Target Team, said: “Rightly or wrongly, people would get credit for admitting responsibility for other crimes they had committed to wipe the slate clean.”

In 2012, 143 burglaries were taken into consider-ation compared to 45 last year.

DI Curtis said he had predicted the drop in detection rates, but said 15 per cent was still ‘three times better’ than some forces.

He added: “Certainly the detection rates in Lancashire are superior to other parts of the country.”