In the 12 months to October 2019, there was a 92 per cent satisfaction rate for victims of house burglaries. Some 89.9 per cent of people were satisfied with the initial contact and 91.5 per cent of people praised their treatment.
In September 2019, the way the force deals with burglary changed so that all victims of burglary are visited by a scenes of crime officer to thoroughly assess any forensic opportunities instead of an officer.
If a burglary occurs in a frequently targeted area, or involves vulnerable victims, or there were witnesses we can follow up with, it will be classed as a priority and an officer may attend to speak to the victim to gather more information. The month of October, following these changes, showed some of the highest victim satisfaction rates to date.
As well as satisfaction rates, the number of burglary dwellings during December 2019 fell by 6.8 per cent; there were 341, compared to 366 the previous year, a time of year when the force usually sees a spike in burglaries.
Our Operation Maze team work hard to reduce burglary in the county and secure arrests and convictions. Between October and December, 59 arrests were made.
We would also like to remind people of our prevention advice, which could also help deter would be thieves.
If you’re out during the night, put your lights on a timer and consider keeping your radio playing, so it seems like someone is home.
Keep all valuables and keys safely out of sight from windows, both in your home and car, and make sure you do not hide your keys in a ‘safe’ place outside your home.
Secure all house and vehicle doors, make sure your door is double locked and that your garages and sheds are not left unlocked. Burglars can steal valuable tools, or use them to gain entry to your house.
Have a look at whether it is cost effective to install technology, such as CCTV or a video doorbell device, which helps deter burglars and can also provide opportunity for investigation, should you become a victim of crime.
If you spot someone behaving suspiciously, contact the police via 101 immediately. In an emergency or if a crime is in progress always call 999.
What happens when a burglary is reported?
• When a call comes in, our call handlers go through a specially designed series of questions, so they can assess the incident and how it should be actioned in the most efficient and effective way.
• All victims of burglary will be visited by a scenes of crime officer to thoroughly assess any forensic opportunities.
• If a burglary occurs in a frequently targeted area, or involves vulnerable victims, or there were witnesses we can follow up with, it will be classed as a priority and an officer may attend to speak to the victim to gather more information.
Detective Chief Inspector Graham Bates