Police promise to attend 'every home burglary' in England and Wales

5 October 2022, 08:38

Illustrations Burglary
Illustrations Burglary. Picture: Getty
Fran Way

By Fran Way

Police chiefs across the country have for the first time committed to sending officers to ‘every home burglary’ in England and Wales.

Martin Hewitt, who is the chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said the aim of the promise is to build public confidence in the police.

He explained: “Some forces already do this. Others attend where it has been established that there are evidential lines of enquiry or where victims are vulnerable or elderly.

“Some police chiefs have struggled to achieve attendance at all burglaries with limited resources and balancing an increase in complex and highly harmful crimes.

Martin Hewitt, the chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council, speaking at a media conference during the pandemic
Martin Hewitt, the chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council, speaking at a media conference during the pandemic. Picture: Getty

“But burglary is invasive and can be deeply traumatic. We want to give people the peace of mind knowing if you experience that invasion, the police will come, find all possible evidence and make every effort to catch those responsible. That’s a critical part of the contract between the police and the public.”

He called on the government to help police across the country in three ways: the first is widening the ‘police mission’ and what officers are used for after a review in 2018 found that more than half of calls to police forces were not about crime.

Mr Hewitt explained: “Some are entirely legitimate police activity, but a substantial proportion see police stepping in to health and social work because of an absence of other services.”

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Secondly, he asked for a review of the crime recording process which currently is a ‘misleading picture to the public about the reality of crime’.

He said: “Right now, for crime recording purposes a burglary of someone’s family home is treated the same as the loss of a spade from a shed. There must be a better way.”

Thirdly, he asked for a clear structure on what police officers should be prioritising across the country. In a recent letter send to all police chiefs, The College of Policing spoke about the benefits of officers attending every burglary reported.

Andy Marsh when he worked as the chief at Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
Andy Marsh when he worked as the chief at Avon and Somerset Constabulary. Picture: Getty

The CEO Andy Marsh said: “Any intrusion into our home can be traumatic. It’s not just the loss of possessions but the way a burglary can steal a person’s sense of security from the place where they should feel safest.

“Officers across the country want to be locking up criminals and keeping communities safe. Our standards will help bring consistency to the police’s response, enable them to get the basics right and deliver what the public expect.”

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