Locals in a New Forest town have become so sick of low-level crime, that they have taken the law into their own hands.
Back in June, it was revealed that Lyndhurst had the most unsolved burglaries in the entire UK - six in total, according to police data.
Even more alarmingly, there are currently 84 unsolved burglaries in the area. Not even one had been solved there for three years.
It reflects an alarming national trend as the latest Home Office figures show less than 4.4 percent of all thefts resulted in someone being charged.
Even more depressingly, over 2.4 million cases remain unsolved from last year - due to there being no suspect found.
Given that Lyndhurst locals felt abandoned by the police, residents decided to seek justice themselves.
Rather than call 999, the vigilante villagers now share evidence and suspects in social media groups.
One Facebook group, called ‘Crime Watch’, has even amassed over 16,000 members which is almost half of the number of people living in the New Forest.
Though the jury is still out on how effective this is, the residents seem to prefer their crime-fighting system.
“We very rarely bother the police - we don’t need them. We have developed our own little systems to replace them,” Aaron Page, a shopkeeper in Lyndhurst, explained to The Guardian.
Having had 250 thefts from his shop over the last decade and a half, the owner now uses CCTV to catch criminals in the act.
According to Page, the locals even used to have walkie-talkies - similar to Hot Fuzz - because they became so bothered by low-level crime.
“When you called the police, nothing would ever get done,” he said.
Other Lyndhurst residents had similar responses, including antique store owner Janine Stone.
After two Moorcroft plates - which had a combined worth £750 - were stolen from the Lyndhurst Antiques Centre, she refused to go to the police.
Instead, Stone took it upon herself to share a post about the pinched pottery on Facebook. Two days later, they miraculously reappeared.
She told The Guardian: “The police only wanted to look into it after we had located them through our own efforts. We declined their help."
Stone added: "A level of basic interest [from the police] would be nice."
Donna Jones, the local police commissioner, said: “Over the last few years, the public have felt there has been a decline in police visibility and officers responding to crimes.”
But, she noted that the latest changes to Hampshire’s policing model were designed to 'bring police closer to communities'.
LADbible has contacted Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary for comment.Featured Image Credit: Daniel Allan/Getty / ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP/Getty