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Crime in Harlow: The 1388 unsolved cases of stalking and harassment

Crime / Sun 14th Mar 2021 at 02:28pm

LAST month, we detailed the woeful solve rate for the crime of rape in Harlow.

Over the past two years just four out of 264 have been solved. The fact that there has been 264 is bad enough.

And when we say solved, we don’t know what the outcome was at court (if anything).

We also don’t know how many rapes occurred and no complaint was made at all.

That is why many people believe that rape has effectively been decriminalised.

With the tragic murder of Sarah Everard and the events of this weekend, we thought we would have a look at other crimes in Harlow and see what the state of the solve rates are for them.

In 2020-21, there has been 1499 complaints of stalking and harassment. 111 of them were solved. Alternatively, 1388 have not been solved.

This article is not a blame game. We are certainly not in a position to blame the police.

Sometimes, they will take a case of harassment and try and “problem solve”. They may speak to the accused and that may be that. Some may be satisfied that the person complained about may well have that information on their “record”. If they ever do a DBS check that “soft intelligence” may well crop up.

We are also aware that, as with rape cases, a large number may not go any further after initial complaints as “victim does not support action” or “other evidential difficulties”.

YH reviews court statistics every week and is always disturbed to read the words “case discontinued”.

As people such as The Secret Barrister have revealed, how many cases, (and Harlow will be a good example) will be ended due to complainers/victims exhausted by the number of adjournments and delays. There are only so many journeys a person can make to the Chelmsford courts. When you have matters such as your job, childcare, travel. You must get to a point where you say, why bother?

To be fair there are plenty of Harlow cases on the list that seem to be getting to court but you feel that may be despite the system and all the barriers detailed above.

But to spread things out, the low solve rate on all crimes must still be a matter of concern.

You do wonder if the system has turned the police into nothing more than uniformed administrators.

You do wonder if having a magistrates court back in Harlow would help? Two days a week, a decent district judge to crack on (we have seen it done). If they say, they cannot afford to. Perhaps they cannot afford not to.

Or perhaps, something more radical needs to be done. Perhaps a town such as Harlow needs to complete re-think its relationship with the criminal justice system. Perhaps it needs to harness the power and potential of its 80,000 strong community.

We will leave you with the number of crimes and solve rates for a variety of offences in Harlow.

You judge for yourself.

Crimes: 2020-2021

Number of solved crimes in brackets

Violence with Injury: 932 (199)

Violence without Injury: 1813 (312)

Other Sexual Offences: 173 (27)

Robbery of Personal Property: 93 (12)

Burglary

Residential: 261 (16)

Business: 109 (9)

Dwelling: 171 (15)

Theft of Vehicle: 204 (10)

Theft from Person: 70 (1)

Racial/Religious Aggravated Offences: 129 )37)

Public Order: 1096 (221)

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