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17 October 2016, 07:21 | Updated: 17 October 2016, 07:26
Leicestershire police officer criticised for suggesting some burglaries should not be investigated.
A senior police officer has been criticised for suggesting some burglaries should not be investigated if doors and windows have been left open.
Phil Kay, assistant chief constable of Leicestershire Police, said he would 'far rather' officers could focus on preventing crime and protecting the public than spending their time investigating break-ins where carelessness may have played a role.
The senior officer posed the question while discussing a high rate of burglaries at digs occupied by students at Loughborough University.
In order to get students to 'take notice', Mr Kay suggested that the police could employ similar methods to NHS services when providing treatment for the clinically obese, he said:
'I would far rather my officers were spending their time preventing crime, protecting the public and focusing on other stuff than things that are preventable.'
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, who represents North West Leicestershire, said:
'I would like to hope that the force are putting this out there as a way of reminding the public of the importance of not leaving doors or windows open.
'But it is their job to detect and investigate such crimes, not to penalise law-abiding citizens who may have made a mistake.'
Mr Kay said he was not suggesting Leicestershire Police had any plans to change their practices, adding: 'I pose that as a question.'