It’s not hidden knowledge that the police are stretched to breaking point, and it’s once again in the news that policing of burglary will suffer as a result.
Sarah Thornton, the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, revealed on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire that burglary might have to be moved away from policing priorities, and that there had to be a “conversation with the public” regarding where resources would be focused.
The frankest moment of it the BBC interview may have been when Derbyshire said “That sounds like you are saying, ‘If your iPad has been nicked from your home, frankly an officer isn’t going to becoming round to help.’ There was no denial on the part of Ms Thornton, who stated “It could be that”.
There has been widespread condemnation of this stance. The Mirror quotes (paraphrased here) Jack Dromey, Shadow Policing Minister, who accused the Home Secretary of “taking a reckless gamble”, and Lucy Hastings, the director of Victim Support, who pointed out the “devastating” impact of burglary on its victims.
However, the revelations that came to light might be entirely accurate. Indeed, the Twitter account of the National Police Chiefs’ Council revealed that that police officers will investigate burglaries, but that there may not be physical attendance if there are alternate methods of investigation.
Gavin Hales, the Deputy Director of the Police Foundation, also contributed to the debate with clarification via Twitter. “In fact, this is not a particularly new development, but what is new is that the most senior levels in the police service are talking about it in public; they clearly feel that there is a need to manage public expectations, and to perhaps implicitly to put some pressure on political decision makers”.
Hales’ statements echo Thornton’s seemingly forgotten point that there is a “conversation” to be had. It’s therefore yet to be seen as to how police forces across the country will approach burglaries in the future. It’s possible, too, that it won’t necessarily be as disastrous as some have feared.
Whatever happens, you should make sure that you’re doing your part in preventing burglary, such as ensuring your locks are up to scratch. You can find security tips elsewhere on our blog – and if you’d like a security survey or to upgrade your locks, amongst our other services, call us today on 0800 0612 677.