POLICE chiefs in Wales and England have pledged to send an officer to all home burglaries.
The move follows evidence from the College of Policing and will help police catch more burglars and support victims after a traumatic and invasive experience.
Some forces already have a policy of witnessing all home burglaries.
Others assist where it has been established that there are compelling investigative leads or where the victims are vulnerable or elderly.
The police chiefs made the decision after considering public opinion, the Inspectorate of Her Majesty’s Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) report on acquisitive crime and considering a new rapid assessment evidence produced by the College of Policing on effective measures to solve burglary crimes.
The College sets clear new standards, making it clear that domestic burglaries must be assisted, which the HMICFRS will consider in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of the forces.
Police chiefs will ensure that this commitment is implemented as soon as possible. They will prioritize footfall where people’s homes have been broken into, as opposed to outbuildings and garden sheds.
National Council of Police Chiefs Chairman Martin Hewitt said:
“The number of burglaries is at an all time low, down 51% over the past decade due to increased investment by police and their partners to prevent them from happening in the first place.
“Wherever you live in England and Wales, you can be sure the police will be present if you suffer a home burglary invasion. This should see more burglaries solved and more offenders prosecuted.
The College of Policing, which sets the standards for policing, outlined the benefits of officers assisting with domestic burglaries in a recent letter to all chiefs.
The review of evidence shared by the College showed how the speed of police presence on the scene can increase victim satisfaction and facilitate investigations. It can also help prevent future crimes in the area.
The National Police Chiefs Council and the College of Policing wrote to the Home Secretary advising of the new standards and the chiefs’ decision on September 30.
CC Andy Marsh, CEO of the College of Policing, said:
“Any intrusion into our home can be traumatic. It’s not just the loss of property, but how a burglary can steal a person’s sense of security from where they should feel safest.
“Officers across the country want to lock up criminals and keep communities safe. Our standards will help bring consistency to the police response, enable them to master the basics and meet public expectations.
The National Council of Chiefs of Police burglary lead, Deputy Chief of Police Alex Franklin-Smith, said:
“Burglary has a significant and lasting effect on victims. Police across the country have pledged to bring more offenders to justice and this decision will bring greater consistency across England and Wales in how we respond to and investigate burglary offences.
“We will work closely with the College of Policing to improve investigative standards and we will continue to invest in the important prevention work with our many partners in an effort to keep crime levels at historic lows.”