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Introduction to the residential burglary practice guide.

First published
Residential burglary

Introduction to this practice guide

Tackling residential burglary is a challenge for policing. Long-term reductions can only be achieved by:

  • working together with policing and partners
  • sharing and implementing effective practice
  • developing new tactical options that keep pace with changes for this type of criminality

The development of a strategic risk assessment will help forces to develop a good understanding of offence patterns in their area and inform tasking and crime prevention activities. 

Effective problem solving – using models such as SARA (scanning, analysis, response and assessment) – as well as the use of crime prevention initiatives, will help to reduce residential burglaries and crime demand. It will also reduce the fear of crime and increase public confidence in the police.

Forensic recovery, narrowing time parameters in which the offence occurred, and suspect descriptions will help to improve solvability and identify suspects. Attendance and making enquiries at a crime scene will enable detections. This will support early detection and the arrest of suspects to prevent reoffending and bring offenders to justice.

Attending residential burglaries

In October 2022, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) made a commitment that police forces across England and Wales would attend all residential burglaries of a home.

The commitment does not stipulate who will attend or prescribe a timescale for deployment, but this practice guide sets out advice for police and partners about what works. It's intended to bring consistency to the way in which police forces attend residential burglaries and bring more offenders to justice.

The commitment shows that chief constables see residential burglary as a priority and are committed to providing a consistent service for victims.

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