POLICE and prosecutors have been accused of a ‘ludicrous’ waste of public money after a teenager ended up in court for slamming his bedroom door.
The 17-year-old’s alcoholic mother called officers following a row over unpaid rent. He had slammed the door twice and the knob fell off.
He was hauled into Swindon youth court and given a three-month conditional discharge after admitting causing criminal damage.
News of the prosecution comes after a survey found that Wiltshire Police drop investigations into more than half of crimes within 24 hours of them being reported.
David Spencer, of the Centre for Crime Prevention, said: ‘It is ludicrous that court time and public money has been wasted pursuing such a trivial issue when so many serious crimes go uninvestigated and unsolved.
‘It beggars belief any police officer would consider this matter worth pursuing — and the CPS agreeing to prosecute raises serious questions about their process too.’
Wiltshire Police said that the force pursues cases when there are ‘viable lines of enquiry’, such as witnesses, physical evidence, CCTV or forensics.
‘The decision on whether or not to charge an offender, including which charges to bring, is of course a decision for the CPS,’ a spokesman said. The CPS were approached for comment.
An investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches found that police nationally ‘screen out’ an average of 27 per cent of crime reports where they deem an arrest unlikely. For bike thefts and muggings, it can reach 80 per cent.