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Following an address by the Home Office, police forces are now required to attend every report of a residential burglary.
It follows an ongoing review of burglary deployment across the country.
Greater Manchester Police have already committed to this pledge and have been since July 2021.
At the time, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) pledged to attend all residential burglaries, carry out full investigations and protect victims against being repeatedly targeted.
Prior to the commitment being made, burglary was perceived as ‘volume’ crime. Many police forces felt they simply couldn’t attend every burglary that occurred.
15 months on the picture for GMP looks very different.
Arrest numbers are up – in the last month alone, GMP made 305 arrests across Greater Manchester. The force launched Operation Castle - our forcewide response to tackling burglaries in July 2021, which has seen a number of positive results. During August 2020 to July 2021 this Operation oversaw the arrest of 430 people compared to 842 for the same period in 2021/22, a startling increase of 95.8%.
Having said this, we are not complacent and GMP are determined to see the trend of increasing arrests continue.
Detection levels are also rising and some of the highest performing districts in Greater Manchester, like Rochdale, are achieving results that are amongst the best nationally.
Since July 2021, officers in Rochdale have arrested over 200 burglars, obtained over 300 charges and assisted the courts in securing prison sentences which collectively exceed 75 years.
Cases in Rochdale during this period have ranged from the concerning to the unusual. In August this year, a prolific burglar called Joshua Dodson was arrested after he attempted to conceal himself from officers by climbing inside a giant teddy bear. He was sentenced to 9 months behind bars for the theft of a Mitsubishi ASX in May and not paying for petrol on the same day.
In a more disturbing case, Lee Fennessey was sentenced to 11 years in prison in July this year after he committed a series of 15 burglaries targeting elderly residents. Fennessey even resorted to using violence against some of the victims, the eldest being 96 years old.
Earlier in January this year, Mohammed Rameez committed a string of burglaries at commercial premises on Rochdale town centre. He was finally apprehended following extensive forensic work which linked him to 5 burglaries, and he was sentenced to 28 months in jail.
Burglary can be a complex crime to investigate but GMP officers are now required to physically attend and, where appropriate, the response may also involve visits from forensic services or specialist detective officers.
Under Operation Castle, knowledge sharing around evidence-based approaches is encouraged to better equip officers to respond to these types of crimes. GMP have also introduced burglary packs to both provide officers with the training and tools they need to conduct thorough investigations and provide the highest level of support to victims in relation to crime prevention.
Superintendent Chris Foster, GMP’s force lead of tackling burglary, said: “Over the last 15 months Greater Manchester Police has committed to attending each and every residential burglary reported to us.
“Burglary is a horrible and intrusive crime that often leaves victims feeling vulnerable and unsafe in their own homes. It is therefore only right that we use all of our policing powers to deal with those individuals who invade the homes of others and steal their property.
“While there is still much progress yet to be made, there is also a lot to be proud of in what has been achieved so far. I particularly hope that the results come as a reassurance to the public and highlight the superb work that is happening across our force every day.
“I would also like to use this milestone as an opportunity to underline our commitment to investigate burglary and reaffirm our pledge that we will continue to pursue every viable line of enquiry to bring offenders to justice.”
Anyone with information that will help us to bring burglars and handlers of stolen goods to justice is encouraged to contact ourselves either via the LiveChat or reporting function on our website or by calling 101. You can also pass on information anonymously through CrimeStoppers by calling 0800 555 111. Always dial 999 in an emergency.