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Residential burglary

Authorised Professional Practice

This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.

First published
Acquisitive crime

All Home Office police forces will attend every residential burglary of a home, as agreed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) in October 2022.

The police have a responsibility to work with partners, homeowners and communities to:

  • bring offenders to justice 
  • reduce the fear of burglary
  • ensure that victims receive a professional response   
  • prevent offences taking place 

Even where it is not possible to identify a suspect, victims want to know the crime has been taken seriously, and that police have taken all reasonable steps to identify and arrest the perpetrator and recover any stolen property.

See a full definition of residential burglary in our Residential burglary practice guide.

An effective police response

An effective police response to residential burglary should include:

  • attendance to all residential burglaries
  • development of intelligence to respond to emerging crime hot spots and help to identify and arrest prolific offenders
  • a victim-focused approach 
  • effective use of golden hour and further investigation actions, following all reasonable lines of enquiry 
  • making timely arrests when appropriate to facilitate search and seizure opportunities and recover stolen goods
  • making effective use of pre- and post-charge bail options to reduce further offending
  • using ‘taking into consideration’ opportunities where appropriate
  • recovering stolen property where possible
  • developing crime prevention and reduction initiatives, problem solving and offender disruption

Further information

For further information see:

These resources should be read in conjunction with the other sections of this APP on Investigation.

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