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  1. Police have been refusing to investigate reported attemped burglaries at odd-numbered homes, it has emerged.The scheme, trialled by Leicestershire police, is now being considered in at least five other counties after it was said to have had no impact on crime rates or public satisfaction. The three-month, money-saving pilot was designed to assess the effectiveness of how the force deploys forensic officers to potential crime scenes. It follows the admittance by Sara Thornton, the head of the National Police Chiefs Council, that the public should no longer expect police officers to turn up at their door if they are burgled. Gavin Hales, deputy director of the Police Foundation, an independent think tank that evaluates policing, told The Times: "The notion of denying 50 per cent of victims a basic service, based on something as arbitrary as their house number, looks ethically dubious at best." During the trial, forensic police officers only visted people who reported an attempted burglary at properties with even numbers. Any scene involving a vulnerable victim or that was believed to be part of a series of crimes would be visited by forensic officers and all reports were investigated by a police officer. Leicestershire police said the policy had "no noticeable impact on victim satisfaction, and nor did it affect the overall ratio of scenes visited and suspects identified. The force confirmed that the East Midlands Special Operations Unit decided to test the scheme in Leicestershire but its results are now being evaluated and it may be brought in across its services in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire too. Leicestershire Police said in a statement that new methods were needed "as a result of significant year-on-year cuts to policing budgets". Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister said: “The public would expect us to make the very best possible use of our time and limited resources to have the biggest impact on public safety and the prevention and detection of crime. “This pilot suggests that we may need to reconsider how best to deploy crime scene investigators, especially if we are currently sending them automatically to scenes where, despite their professionalism and expertise, there is no evidence for them to retrieve.” The scheme was introduced after analysis showed that forensic science officers had been deployed on a total of 1,172 attempted burglaries in the region but few scenes were found to contain any scientific evidence. Only 33 suspects were identified as a result of these visits. But Mr Hales added: "It risks being highly counterproductive, both in terms of public confidence but also successful prosecutions. Imagine, for example, a police force that finds the same tool marks at the scenes of five attempted burglaries, and then on the sixth occasion also finds a fingerprint that allows all six crimes to be solved. By ignoring half of the opportunities to collect forensic evidence, a police force would necessarily solve fewer crimes." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11784254/Police-only-investigate-burglaries-at-even-numbered-homes.html
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