As part of our summer-long #BeyondTheBeat campaign to highlight the hidden demands on policing, this week we are focusing on burglary and the hard-work going on behind the scenes to bring offenders to justice.
Becoming a victim of burglary can have a long-lasting physical and emotional impact. Having a stranger enter your home can be devastating for the victim – on average it takes around seven months for you to feel secure in your home again.
In 2017 the Community Tasking Team (CTT) was introduced, a dedicated resource to tackle burglary and all Force priority crimes, this was in response to an increase in burglaries in the county.
The CTTs main focus has been on improving our residential burglary processes and clamping down on offenders. They also work closely with local community policing teams, and with specialist Crime Scene Investigators (CSI), to ensure the biggest possible impact is made on prolific offenders who blight the lives of our local communities.
In the 12 months to March 2018, statistics show there were a total of 4,082 burglaries in Wiltshire which represents an increase of 1%.
This is a stark improvement compared to the previous figures which saw a 13.2% increase for year ending January 2018. We have also seen an improvement in burglary detection rates.
Chief Constable, Kier Pritchard said: “Burglary is a horrific crime that can leave the victim feeling insecure in their own home and some are even forced to move in order to feel safe once more. The emotional impact of a stranger entering the home uninvited can outweigh the physical losses that take place.
“As a Force we recognised that improvements needed to be made in our response, investigations, offender management and long-term prevention. I am pleased to say that since the introduction of the Community Tasking Team, we have seen a drop in burglaries being committed across the county and an increase in convictions of offenders.
“This is down to the dedication and hard-work of the Community Tasking Team, Community Policing Team, Intelligence Staff and Crime Scene Investigators.
“We still have work to do, and by no means am I saying we are perfect. However, we are determined to continue to tackle this crime, bring offenders to justice and provide closure to victims”.
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “”Burglary is a high impact crime that can be devastating for victims, and it is incredibly encouraging to see that the community tasking teams are starting to have an impact and the courts are sending a clear message to offenders when sentencing.
“I have continuously challenged the Force over the past three years and I’m pleased to see that the way in which they tackle burglary is improving, and it’s important that they do not lose this momentum and the improvements continue.
“I will continue to hold the Force to account and ensure that the very best service is provided for our local communities.”