Avon and Somerset Police has committed to attend all home burglaries from now on as a officer said the force ‘must do better’. 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 attending all home burglaries. Others attend where it has been established that there are evidential lines of enquiry or where victims are vulnerable or elderly.
Avon & Somerset Police Chief Inspector Karen Corrigan who leads the Operation Remedy teams tackling burglaries, said the force was previously attending 86.7% of burglaries.
She told BBC Radio Bristol: “As a force, we take reports of burglary extremely seriously and recognise the profound impact on victims.
“We try to attend every scene of burglary within our four-hour target response time but it’s not always possible due to the high level demand especially during the summer months.”
Chief Inspector Corrigan couldn’t say how many of the burglaries previously attended were visited within the four-hour target. She also admitted the current 5.6% figure of burglaries solved in the region wasn’t good enough.
“That figure is not acceptable in my eyes and I’m doing everything we can to improve it,” she said.
“We’ll be using our investigative team as part of Operation Remedy and we’re dedicated to attend 100% of dwelling burglaries and that includes any garage or shed connected to a dwelling.
“We must do better and by utilising our Operation Remedy team we will see that figure increase. From today we have a dedicated resource for burglaries and we will attend 100% of dwelling burglaries, that’s an absolute guarantee.”
Chief Inspector Corrigan added that the dwelling burglary rate in the Avon & Somerset area is falling, claiming it was 3,500 last year, compared to just over 6,000 in 2017.
Police chiefs took the decision for forces to attend all burglaries after considering public opinion, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services’ (HMICFRS) report on acquisitive crime and reviewing a new rapid evidence assessment produced by the College of Policing on effective measures for solving burglary crimes.
The College is setting new clear standards, making clear domestic burglaries should be attended, which HMICFRS will take into account in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of forces.
Chief constables will work to ensure this commitment is implemented as soon as practically possible. They will prioritise attendance where people’s homes have been burgled, as opposed to outbuildings and garden sheds.