Solve your own crimes, British police tell public

LONDON (AFP) - Some victims of crime in England and Wales are being told to do their own detective work by the police, the body which monitors its performance said Thursday.

Victims were asked to speak to neighbours, check CCTV footage and look at online auction sites to see if their stolen property was being resold in some areas, a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said.

"It's not the fault of the individual staff, it's a mindset thing that's crept in to policing to say 'we've almost given up'," Mr Roger Baker, who led the inspection for the report.

HMIC looked at all 43 police forces to see how they dealt with crime prevention and investigation.

It found the response people received when reporting a crime varied greatly from area to area - with police attendance rates at crime scenes ranging from 39 per cent in Warwickshire, central England, to 100 per cent in Cleveland, north-east England.

Mr Adam Pemberton of Victim Support, a charity which supports people who have experienced crime, said: "It is totally unacceptable for victims to have to investigate their own case as it could put them at risk of further harm and they may miss vital evidence which could allow offenders to evade justice."

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