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'I told police who my burglar was - but they did nothing'

By Bronagh Munro

BBC Panorama

A woman whose home was burgled as she slept says the police would not question the man she had identified from CCTV as the offender.

Sarah Goode from Blackburn told BBC Panorama that officers "were not prepared to do anything".

The programme investigated further and found more CCTV - it showed the offender going in and out of her house.

Lancashire Police says it recognises the impact crime has on victims and that tackling burglary is a priority.

Ms Goode's case comes as research commissioned by Panorama suggests police forces are facing an increased workload.

The independent criminal justice think tank Crest Advisory says England and Wales need an extra 18,000 officers just to keep up with population growth since 2010.

While the Home Office says there are now 149,500 police officers in England and Wales - the highest number on record - the think tank says recruitment has fallen behind the 9.1% increase in population since the start of the previous decade.

According to Crest, there are now just 3.88 officers for every 1,000 people - down from 4.42 in 2010.

'They did nothing'

When Ms Goode's home was burgled, Lancashire Police failed to collect CCTV from all of her neighbours.

Sarah Goode says she was "furious" the police did not question the suspect or return to collect CCTV

She gathered some footage herself and identified a former friend acting suspiciously outside her house - but Lancashire Police still did not question him or come back for the rest of the CCTV.

Sarah sent the suspect a series of angry messages and ended up getting her stolen car keys back - she found they had been thrown into her back yard.

But her other possessions haven't been returned. She added: "I actually wanted the police to do something about it. And they did nothing. It's not OK."

The suspect says he did not burgle Sarah.

Inexperienced new recruits

The police watchdog has told Panorama that officers are failing to get the basics right and that public confidence is at the lowest level he could remember.

While 20,000 officers across the county have been hired since 2019 to replace those laid off during the years after 2010, Andy Cooke, HM Inspector of Constabulary, said this in effect meant experienced officers had been replaced with new recruits.

"Obviously, the level of inexperience now is quite significant," he said. "By next year, about 30% of officers will have under five years' service and most of those will be on the front line."

Will My Crime Be Solved?

Only one in 20 crimes in England and Wales result in someone being charged. Bronagh Munro meets victims left to investigate their own crimes and seeks the criminals who have escaped justice.

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