- Recent figures show a significant reduction in burglaries in Gloucestershire when comparing March 2018 – Feb 2019 with March 2019 – Feb 2020
- Altogether, there were 900 fewer offences during the period, the equivalent of a 21% drop
- There were 694 fewer burglaries in the home, a reduction of 23%
- And 206 fewer burglaries in a business/community setting, down by 17%
- Det Supt Steve Bean said the real result was preventing the distress, trauma and anxiety that would have been caused by 900 more burglaries
- Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl hoped it would dispel the misconception that the police were no longer interested in some levels of crime.
When the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable decided to challenge serious organised criminals who target random urban and rural communities in Gloucestershire, they could not have expected how quickly the investment would pay-off.
Not only have there been hundreds fewer burglaries but also cash savings worth more than £4,000,000 to the Constabulary and the public.
The Home Office Research Report Economic and Social Costs of Crime, second edition (July 2018), puts the average police cost of both residential and commercial burglary at £530 per incident.
It calculates that 900 fewer burglaries in Gloucestershire, the equivalent of a 21.3% reduction on the previous 12 months, equals a gross saving of £477,000 (900x£530).
Take away the PCC’s cash injection in September towards burglary prevention campaigns and police operations, the net saving is £377,000.
Yet those figures are dwarfed when the Home Office formula factors in the costs to victims, stolen property, repairs to damage and insurance claims, which takes the cost of each burglary to £5,220.
Then the gross savings of 900 fewer burglaries in the county rises to £4,698,000; and when you factor out the PCC’s investment, the net saving to victims and the wider economy is estimated at £4,548,000.
Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Head of Investigations, Det Supt Steve Bean said: “Obviously this is a purely financial calculation but it is a good barometer of the success we’ve had in the period under review.
“What is more important is the ‘human calculation’. The savings in terms of the distress, trauma, anxiety and inconvenience that the victims of 900 burglaries would have suffered. That is the real result”.
The background to the story is contained in the PCC’s annual report, which will be read at the next meeting of Gloucestershire County Council’s Police and Crime Panel on 17 July. The meeting is also open to the public.
Mr Surl said, “The Chief Constable and I agree that every crime matters and that every contact [with the public] counts. I refreshed the Police and Crime Plan to reflect this.
“The investment I made went directly into the fight against burglary and serious acquisitive rural crime because that’s what the public were asking for and what the police wanted too.
“Burglary is a heinous crime and must always be a priority for the police, no matter what else they happen to be dealing with. These are very encouraging results and I hope they dispel the misconception that the police are no longer interested in some levels of crime”.
When considering types of crime during the same period, March 19 – Feb 20 to March 18 – Feb 19, the following percentage changes have been seen:
- All burglary down 21% (900 fewer offences)
- Residential burglary down 23% (694 fewer offences)
- Burglary in a business/community setting down by
- 17% (206 fewer offences)