Essex Police fails to identify a suspect in almost half of all reported crimes, new figures have revealed.

The startling statistics were revealed following an investigation by The Sun into 10,000 pages of crime outcomes figures documented by the Home Office.

It shows how of the 4.2million crimes reported to police forces in 2016/2017, suspects were identified in only 48 per cent of cases.

Essex Police performs better than average with officers being able to identify a suspect in 56 per cent of cases.

The worst performing force, according to the figures, is Greater Manchester Police at 35 per cent of finding suspects while the Metropolitan Police were unable to identify suspects in 60 per cent of cases.

Essex Police Federation Chair Steve Taylor said the low figure is a result of poor funding and it is not through lack of effort.

He said: “Cuts have consequences. Our officers are doing more with less, being 800 constables fewer than before the financial crisis.

“We are facing increased demand as crime rises and more complex crime becomes more frequent, and all in face of woefully inadequate funding.

“So when I hear these figures, I honestly feel it’s not because of a lack of effort on the part of those few of us left behind.

"It’s not lost on any of us that we haven’t been able to identify assailants for some in our community who have been the victims of crime, and it’s also true that there could be a number of reasons for this.

"However, this statistic is not helped by financial decisions forced on our police service by this government.”

A police spokesman said it is vital people report crime to inform their operations. She said: “A crime being recorded as no suspect identifiable means we have taken it as far as reasonably possible.

"If evidence isn’t available and if public appeals don’t help us find a suspect, we may close the investigation but will always re-open it if new information comes to light.”