Priti Patel says unsolved burglary statistics are ‘deeply disturbing’

The government has urged forces to ensure officers visit the scenes of all break-ins – and on Monday Ms Patel named two forces, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire – which have done so and have set up specialist teams in order to target house thefts.

Since Northamptonshire Police pledged in April 2019 to visit every victim of burglary and set up two teams within the Criminal Investigations Department to achieve this, burglaries have fallen by 50.9%, or 2,500 fewer victims per year.

“The government’s crime plan will go even further so that, force by force, the government can absolutely ensure that every police force is held accountable,” she told MPs.

Nearly 2,000 of the neighborhoods – each containing about 3,000 residents – have recorded at least 25 burglaries, but none have been solved. The worst district, in Sheffield, has gone three years without any of its 104 burglaries being solved.

Despite the devastating impact break and enters can have on victims, burglary has not been considered a police priority. Some forces no longer routinely send an officer to investigate the crime. If there is no readily available CCTV or forensic evidence, the case will often be closed within hours.