Nearly three out of every four offences reported to Kingston police go unsolved, according to the latest figures.

The overall number of crimes in the borough have declined by 829, it was revealed last week.

But in some categories as many as 95 per cent of criminals are getting away with it.

Out of the 12,276 crimes reported to Kingston police during 2007/08 only 3,258 were solved, according to the official sanctioned detection rates released today.

Detection rates reveal the percentage of crimes which end up with somebody being either charged, given a caution, handed an on-the-spot fine or dragged into court to face up to their misdeeds.

Both the police investigators and the Crown Prosecution Service who decide how to proceed with cases are responsible for driving up sanctioned detections.

In one of the most worrying developments, the number of rape victims who saw their attacker confronted with their crimes fell from just under half of reported rapes in 2006/07.

Last year one in four people accused of rape ended up in court with the rest never getting that far - although with the total numbers are low at 25, a small change could affect the overall success rates.

Police and prosecutors across the country have traditionally found it difficult to persuade women not to drop charges in the face of a possible court interrogation.

Six out of 10 criminals who pull a gun escaping never to be caught and a similar proportion of violent offenders, who punch, kick or assault another person, are walking away scot-free.

Less than half of the people motivated by racism when they committed their crimes are being tracked down.

Motor crime, which includes stolen cars and vandalised vehicles, saw a measly 5 per cent success rate, reflecting the difficulty of tracing offenders.

There were some success stories for police and detectives though.

The long arm of the law is now feeling the collar of six out of 10 robbers who target shops and businesses.

That is a considerable increase from the year before when two thirds of robbers successfully evaded the law.

More than half of homophobic crimes against gay, lesbian and bisexual people were solved last year.

But the amount of burglaries cleared up has dropped dramatically with nearly nine out of 10 break-ins leading to a blank trail.

No-one from Kingston police or the Crown Prosecution Service were immediately available to explain what they were doing to improve detection rates.

2007/08 Detection rates in Kingston

Crime Detection rate Total number of those crimes Total crimes 26% 12,276 Violent crimes 39.6% 2,575 Rapes 25% 28 Other sex crimes 25.4% 122 Robberies 26.7% 285 Burglaries 16.1% 1,069 Gun crime 38.1% 21 Car crime 5.5% 1,274 Domestic offences 47.6% 654 Racist crimes 46.8% 186 Homophobic crimes 56.3% 16