How to allocate resources for further investigation of residential burglaries, including burglary investigation teams and burglary packs.
Forces should ensure that all residential burglaries, including attempted burglaries, are:
- screened in for further investigation
- brought to the attention of the forensic department for triage and attendance, where appropriate
Consideration should be given to forming a dedicated burglary investigation team.
If forces cannot create a dedicated burglary investigation team, they should identify dedicated investigators and provide additional learning and development for effective investigation of residential burglary.
These officers and staff should be given protected time to properly investigate these crimes before they are allocated further incidents.
The approach adopted by each force will be determined by capacity and capability.
Burglary investigation teams
A burglary investigation team can provide a dedicated and knowledgeable resource that can exploit intelligence and maximise burglary detections. Benefits include the following.
- A single point of contact (SPOC) is established for all burglary investigation activity, who can attend or provide daily briefings.
- Training and briefings can be targeted at a smaller group of investigators.
- Minimum standards of investigation can be set, monitored and achieved.
- Regular attendance at burglary scenes by specialists can allow offences to be linked by MO or description more quickly.
- Material from the scene can be actioned immediately, resulting in early arrests, often before the suspect has disposed of the stolen property.
- Investigators have time to undertake effective investigations.
- Management and support of victims can be undertaken to a consistent and professional standard.
- Management of suspects can be undertaken to a consistent and professional standard.
- Warrants for those suspected of burglary offences can be prioritised.
- False, exaggerated or inaccurate burglary reports can be identified more easily.
To maintain performance, forces should ensure that investigators are not diverted to other duties.
Burglary packs can also support a professional and coordinated response to the investigation of residential burglary. Packs can include:
- procedural checklists
- crime prevention advice
- security risk assessment forms
- victim vulnerability assessment forms
- stolen property pro forma
- crime scene preservation advice
- burglary alert cards, for neighbouring properties
- property marking pens and warning stickers or forensic marking kits.
The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) has also launched a residential burglary mobile phone application. This provides template questions that allow investigators to record incident specifics, conduct house-to-house enquiries, and upload photographic evidence. It also provides guidance on bespoke victim support and prevention advice.
Forces should consider adopting investigation packs and the mobile phone app for all investigators attending residential burglary.