Only 6% of burglaries are solved by the police

Early in the morning in South Manchester – and a prolific thief known to the police is arrested for a series of thefts.

Greater Manchester police officers were granted a warrant to enter and search the home of the man, who is believed to have stolen items from student quarters.

Sufficient evidence was seized and examined to charge him on the same day. This has clearly been a successful morning for GMP officials – something they are witnessing more frequently – but across the country it is a rarity.

Only 6% of burglaries per year are solved by the police in England and Wales, a staggeringly low figure that has declined in recent years. But in Manchester things have been a bit different in the last 15 months and the picture is changing.

The police commitment to participate in every single home burglary – introduced in July 2021 – is proving to be a success and therefore is a model adopted by every police chief across the country.

Data shared with Sky News by GMP revealed that, in the past 12 months, arrests related to burglary have increased by 52%.

It comes like Police chiefs across the country have promised that officers will participate in “all home burglaries” for the first time earlier this month.

Superintendent Chris Foster, head of law enforcement for burglary, said: “We need to restore public trust, so we are working hard to improve all basic standards such as seeing someone when they are burgled, having an agent of police assisting and doing a thorough investigation and then tying all those connections using partners in order to have an appropriate outcome for the victim. “

He added: “We are doing a good job of reaching people. We are reaching 94% of all burglaries and nearly 100% of residential burglaries.

“There are ways and means you can do this and once you fix some problems, hopefully those numbers and demands will go down, but you have to focus on that.”

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But some victims are fed up and have lost faith in the police.

Martin McLaughlin runs a charity shop in Bolton. He says he’s been robbed eight times in the past 12 months – with little or no action – he’s given up on reporting the incidents all at once.

He told Sky News: “Sometimes it seems like if you put it on a plate for them and say we have this and that, even when there are CCTV cameras and even when there have been witnesses, they say ‘we can’ Don’t prosecute. nothing because there is not enough evidence. ‘

“When you call them, all you get is a crime number. I don’t need a crime number, I need them to stop the people who are causing damage to the charity shop.”

GMP admitted it needed to do more to convince people like Martin.

As militaries across the country adopt the model of participating in every burglary, they could face huge resource problems.

Marc Jones, President of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said: “It will be a challenge, particularly in large urban areas, but it is the right thing to do.

“The police force have to make choices and make choices every day about which will be the priority.

“The police chiefs had made this a priority, they collectively agreed that they will face this challenge and be held accountable for delivering it.”

Burglary is a deeply invasive and often terribly traumatic crime: the anguish of an unsolved case only increases.

With increasing pressure on the police to improve their response, hopefully this historic deal will lead to change.

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