MORE than a quarter of crime victims in Southend pull out of wanting to prosecute offenders, new statistics reveal.

Officers in Southend had to end investigations or found it difficult to prosecute alleged criminals in 26 per cent of cases recorded between April and October due to unco-operative victims.

Chief Insp Simon Anslow, district commander for Southend, has revealed that in 1,005 cases out of the 3,834 recorded crimes in those six months, victims no longer wanted to pursue police investigations.

In 564 cases, police had to close investigations because there was no identified suspect.

In the remaining 441 cases, police had an identified suspect despite no support from the victim.

Chief Insp Anslow said: “When the victim does not support the investigation, but we do have a suspect, it is still very very difficult to continue. It’s then a decision for the court to make about whether they want to compel the victim to come to court to give evidence.

“This would only happen in very serious cases, otherwise they won’t proceed with it.”

In the last month, his team have dealt with harassment texts relating to the unhappy sale of a car, children shouting abuse at each other outside of school and numerous road rage incidents.

All of these incidents, which police are obliged to log in their system and carry out initial investigations, have resulted in no further action due to uncooperative victims.

He has urged people to think before phoning police.

He said: “Looking into the crimes reported this year and investigated by team, I have been astounded by the high proportion of crimes where the victim doesn’t support the investigation.

“In some of those cases it might be that they have had bad experiences with either the police or the court and I would urge them to try again and work with us to improve out service and to achieve a better outcome next time.

“In other cases, people simply have no intention of going to court for the matters and I would ask that when they phone, they leave us some understanding of what they want from us and are really clear from the outset so we can record the crime, as we are required to do, but we don’t invest our resources in fruitless investigations that were never wanted in the first place.”