Commitment to attend all dwelling burglaries in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight sees positive results.
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In September 2022 Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary made a commitment that we would attend every single dwelling burglary report that we received.
Our focus on crimes that matter to our communities and relentlessly pursuing criminals has seen the number of burglaries reported to us in recent months decrease, whilst charges have increased.
When comparing data from April 2022 to April 2023 against the previous twelve months there were 5,653 burglary reports, a reduction of 197 (-3.4%), against the 2021-22 total of 5,850.
In the first three months of 2023 we secured 44 burglary charges, that compares to 36 in the first three months of 2022.
We have also seen a number of positive burglary-related results in recent months. These have included seven people being arrested in Portsmouth in May in connection with a series of burglaries in Southsea, Hilsea, and Cosham in April. A 31 year-old man from Southampton was sentenced on Tuesday 23 May to three years and two months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of burglary at Southampton Crown Court. Also in May at the same court a 37 year-old man was sentenced to nearly two and a half years in prison after he stole chainsaws from a conservatory and was confronted by the homeowner. In March a 35 year-old man from Farnborough was charged in connection with a burglary on Loggon Road in Basingstoke where items including a wallet, clothing, and food were stolen. His case is still proceeding through the courts.
Detective Superintendent Tina Lowe said: “We’re pleased that we have maintained our burglary attendance levels since the commitment was made to our communities last September ahead of a national adoption of the same approach later that month. However there is always more work to be done to tackle there kinds of offences. In a small number of cases it may be impractical for us to attend due to the length of time since the offence took place, or for example if the victim has a specific reason as to why they do not wish for us to attend because they would prefer instead to speak to officers at a police station.
“Our aims are to continue to reduce the number of burglaries taking place, charge more suspects, and ensure that victims receive a consistently high level of service in our response.
“As part of our commitment we have continued to invest in our teams that investigate burglary and have upskilled those officers that initially attend so that we can make the most of the lines of enquiry available at the earliest opportunity. This has translated into an increase in the number of burglaries that we solve, although forensic work can take some time to build into a case that is ready to take to court, so these figures should continue to improve over coming months.
“Every deployment is an opportunity to capture evidence, identify lines of enquiry and capture offenders and increase the number of cases in which formal action is taken. We also recognise that this approach helps victims to feel safer in their homes, which is a cornerstone of victim-focused policing. Our investigations will also allow us to clearly see links to other forms of criminality, such as drug supply or organised crime. By attending all residential dwelling burglary reports, we are sending a very clear message that we will not tolerate these crimes. We want to give ourselves the very best opportunity to disrupt and deter crime, and catch those criminals who are responsible”.
Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones said: “As Commissioner, I made sure Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary was the first force in the country to make the commitment to attend every burglary because this is about getting the first response right.
“Whilst I’m pleased burglary reports have gone down and charges have gone up, the increase in charge rates isn’t good enough.
“Attending all burglaries is what victims of crime rightly expect, but it is only one part of the process. Investigations must be improved and expedited.
“I am speaking with the chief constable regularly to see where these improvements can be made over the coming months".
We’re working hard this to prevent, detect, and solve burglaries. We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind our communities of the following crime prevention advice.
It may be tempting to leave doors and windows unlocked and open in the summer when it’s hot, but it’s important to remember that this can give burglars the perfect opportunity to enter your home.
If you’re upstairs or out of the room, even just for a few minutes, close them and help shut burglars out.