WILTSHIRE Police has been accused of “screening out” crimes they have no chance of successfully investigating.

The force dropped investigations into 56 per cent of alleged offences within 24 hours, the Daily Mail reported.

Nationally, the rate for crimes like muggings and bike thefts can be as high as 80 per cent.

Labour branded the figures a “scandal happening in every police force in the country”. Baroness Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, said shelving investigations left victims of crime feeling distressed and unsafe in their homes.

Responding Wiltshire Police said dropped investigations could be reopened if new lines of enquiry came to light.

A force spokesman said: “It is not a case that we are simply closing down crimes at the earliest opportunity.

“In addition to placing our emphasis on the victim, we also need to consider how realistic the prospect of locating and prosecuting the offender is when investigating a reported crime.

“We remain committed to improving the quality of investigations and to ensuring that all victims of crime receive the best possible service.”