Police talk about burglary in a number of ways.
We talk about domestic burglary and also non-domestic or commercial burglary.
A domestic burglary is when this takes place in the home. A commercial burglary is when the crime takes place in a property such as a shop, office or factory.
Most domestic burglaries involve theft of valuable items from a home, such as jewellery or electronic items that can be sold on.
Police also refer to a category of “distraction burglary.” A distraction burglary is when someone misrepresents themselves in order to gain access to your home; they may say they are from one of the utility companies or may be selling goods or services. Once they are inside your home they will steal items lying around.
We work pro-actively to detect and prevent burglaries; from highly visible operations to the building of case files so that we can successfully prosecute those who break into to homes and businesses, leaving victims in their wake. Read below to find out more about how we tackle burglary and what you can do to protect yourself.
What do we do about burglary?
If you have been a victim of burglary police will come to your home and investigate the crime.
This investigation might include speaking to your neighbours (we call this house to house enquires) and checking any CCTV at your property or nearby.
Police will also look at how the burglar gained entry to your home, try and establish their movements within your home and how they exited your home.
A specific officer will be appointed to take on the investigation.
In the vast majority of cases what is known as a “scene investigation” will take place. A Crime Scene Investigator will visit your home and look for fingerprints, DNA evidence, footwear marks and potentially tool marks. Police call this forensic evidence. Forensic evidence is useful in trying to identify potential offenders.
If you have been a victim of burglary you can take some practical steps to preserve potential evidence:
- Limit what you touch around your home. It is tempting to try and establish exactly what has been taken, but every surface you touch may be destroying potential fingerprint or DNA evidence.
- Broken windows should be left alone. Intruders have been known to leave DNA evidence on broken glass. If you clear the frame prior to police arrival, you will also have cleared the potential for evidence to be obtained.
- Limit walking about within your home. Intruders can leave footwear marks which can be retrieved by our Crime Scene Investigators.
- Any items or tools discarded by the intruder should be left where they are. If you see anything which does not belong in your home, leave it alone and let the officer know about it.
If you are aged 60+ and a victim of domestic a detective will carry out the investigation. This is because we understand the particular impacts of domestic burglaries on older and potentially vulnerable persons.
Also if you are 60+, the police officer will discuss with you referrals to our crime prevention officer and a number of other measures to support you.
Pratical steps to secure your home
You can take a number of practical steps to secure your home and family
- Lock your doors and windows (1/3 of burglaries take place through unlocked doors and windows)
- Don’t leave cash or valuable items on display
- Report suspicious persons or vehicles to police via 101
- Join Neighbourhood Watch
- Join the Nominated Neighbour scheme
- Consider fitting an alarm or other security devices
Your local police can give you guidance on securing your home.