14 in 100 – Arrest Rate for Burglaries is Bonkers

Police forces in England make 14 arrests for every 100 burglaries, it was claimed by the BBC in January. The number of burglaries has fallen in a year, but so has the proportion of arrests to recorded crimes.

Office for National Statistics figures on recorded crime show there were 392,341 burglaries in 2014-15, while Home Office data shows 54,466 arrests were made for burglary.

The figures do not take into account people arrested for more than one burglary at the same time, nor those arrested for offences committed in previous years.

Across England the number of recorded burglaries fell from 423,912 in 2013-14 to 392,341 in 2014-15, while arrests dropped from 66,571 to 54,466. It means the rate of arrests has fallen from 16 for every 100 burglaries to 14.

West Midlands Police (WMP) had the lowest ratio of arrests to burglaries, with just seven for every 100 crimes.

WMP’s lead for burglary, Chief Inspector Anthony Tagg said: “We continue to see year-on year- reductions in the number of burglaries, a trend that continued in 2015 when there were 474 fewer house break-ins across the West Midlands compared to 2014 – that’s a fall of 4% .” He said almost half of the 22,400 burglaries in the region related to non domestic buildings such as sheds, garages and outhouses. “These often occur in the middle of the night when there are no witnesses or CCTV to assist the investigation so securing arrests and convictions is even more challenging.”

Author and former police officer Mike Pannett, who spent 20 years with the Metropolitan and North Yorkshire forces, said the figures would not show ‘prolific’ offenders arrested for multiple burglaries.

Mark Castle, chief executive of independent charity Victim Support, said: “Burglary not only robs victims of their physical possessions, it can rob people of their sense of security at home as well, a place where everyone should feel most safe. This crime can also leave many people feeling vulnerable, frightened and distressed.”

According to the Ministry of Justice, there were 107,826 people sentenced at court for ‘theft offences’ in England and Wales in the 12 months ending June 2015. This compares with 120,875 for the same period the year before.

Arrests overall

In 2014-15, the number of arrests made by police forces in England and Wales was down about 75,000 on the year before. However, arrests for violence and sexual offences increased. There were 4,000 more arrests in England and Wales for violence in 2014-15 than the year before and 2,600 more for sexual offences.



This article originally appeared in the print edition of Locks and Security Magazine

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