Despite our confidence in the police force and increasingly cutting-edge investigative technologies, the fact remains that the clear up rate for housebreaking in Scotland in 2020-21 was only 31.5%. Given today’s forensic science and computer intelligence accessible to police—the same information that has driven up the arrest rate for violent crimes—one would anticipate the burglary arrest rate to be much higher.
So, what’s the issue with solving burglaries, and why is there such a low arrest rate?
The first difficulty that arises when it comes to burglary is the mechanics of the act. The majority of burglaries take place when there are no witnesses, and robbers tend to avoid properties with security cameras. As a result, officers are left with very little to work with. Non-domestic property, such as outbuildings, garages, and sheds, accounts for around half of all burglaries; they are even less likely to have CCTV or witnesses present. Arrests, let alone convictions, are difficult to come by without information that may assist in identifying the criminal.
Another aspect of burglary logistics is the fact that many of those apprehended are repeat offenders. Single-time burglaries are unusual, and many criminals aren’t apprehended until they’ve broken into many homes. Arrests for numerous offences are just not possible with this data. As a result, a criminal may have committed multiple prior burglaries, but their arrest would only be for one of them.
While it’s reasonable to suppose that including prolific offenders will improve the arrest rate, it won’t bring it up to the level of violent or sexual crime. When you examine this, it’s also worth noting that, despite having the most police resources, the arrest rate in larger cities is generally lower.
Nonetheless, although political agendas must be considered, it seems that the fact that Scotland currently (2022) has its lowest number of serving police officers in fourteen years may have had some effect, however little, on the declining arrest rate. Due to the pressure to target resources most effectively, the police must prioritise violent offences over property crime.
Though most burglaries do not result in physical damage, it is vital to recognise the psychological suffering that they may cause however. It’s critical for victims to understand that reporting a burglary to the police is treated seriously, and the crime will be properly investigated.
Unfortunately, despite their best intentions, the notion that police will take burglaries seriously cannot be justified at this time. While the overall number of burglaries has decreased, the odds of the perpetrator being apprehended are very slim. If you’re burgled, the sad fact is that your belongings are unlikely to be returned to you, and the thief is unlikely to be apprehended.
The greatest protection, as usual, is prevention.
Always secure your windows and doors, and make sure there are no easy entry points in the rear or front of your house. Break-ins are also less likely if you have a well-tended, well-lit garden with no vegetation that may hide a thief and have signs of occupation such as a radio left on.
Having a visible burglar system reduces your chances of being broken into (thieves prefer easier targets) and a recognised, professionally-installed system optimises the deterrent effect (along with CCTV cameras).
Contact Ultimate Alarms now to secure your property and avoid becoming yet another crime statistic. For burglar alarm systems in Glasgow & central Scotland, we’re here for you whether you’re in Cumbernauld, Clydebank, Carluke or wherever.