No suspects are identified in eight out of 10 household burglaries in South Yorkshire, official figures have revealed.
The statistics, from the Press Association, also found that suspects are not identified in three quarters of reported vehicle thefts and also ended almost half of shoplifting cases with the same outcome.
Across the three offences, around 14,000 investigations in South Yorkshire were shut with no suspected culprit in the frame, according to the data.
The revelation has prompted warnings that victims could be put off reporting offences, with concerns that criminals are being given a ‘green light to reoffend’.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the Commons Home Affairs committee, said: "Too many investigations are closing without suspects being identified and we are hearing increasing reports of the police being too overstretched to investigate.
"Police forces are under immense pressure with rising serious and violent crime and changing patterns of crime alongside cuts in the numbers of officers and PCSOs.
"These figures suggest that investigations into volume crimes are now being hit. Failing to identify suspects gives criminals a green light to reoffend."
Police chiefs have said that increased demand and reduced officer numbers mean they have to prioritise cases where there is a realistic chance of prosecution.
Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for acquisitive crime, added: “Police investigate all cases of theft, burglary and shoplifting.
”Particularly for these types of offences, police focus on targeting prolific offenders, organised crime networks, and ensuring prevention measures by homeowners and businesses are in place.”
The figures were taken from Home Office crime outcomes data, and cover the 12 months to March 2018.
They show that out of the 8,391 household burglary cases opened over that period by South Yorkshire Police, 80 per cent were categorised as ‘investigation complete - no suspect identified’.
This is used when the police say a reported crime has been investigated ‘as far as reasonably possible’ and the case is closed pending further investigative opportunities.
Of the total burglary cases reported, South Yorkshire Police brought 427 people to court.
Of the 2,773 vehicle thefts recorded in the area, 73 per cent ended up with no suspect being identified, while in the 12,043 shoplifting cases, 5,477 of them were closed with the same outcome.
The police charged 125 suspects with car theft, and 2,899 for shoplifting.