Author: R.V.G. Clarke
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Business & Economics
This book contains the papers given at a workshop organised by the Home Office (England and Wales) on the subject of residential burglary. This is a topic of much public concern, and I welcome the Home Office initiative in mounting the workshop. The contributors were all researchers and crim inologists who have made a special study of burglary, and their brief was to consider the implications of their work for policy. As a policeman, I find their work of particular interest and relevance at this time when police per formance, as traditionally measured by the clear-up rate, is not keeping pace with the increase in the numbers of burglaries coming to police attention. The finding that increases in burglary are more reflective of the public's reporting habits than of any significant rise in the actual level of burglary helps with perspective but offers little comfort to policemen. The 600/0 in crease in the official statistics since 1970 is accompanied by a proportionate increase in police work in visiting victims, searching scenes of crime, writing crime reports, and completing other documentation. In some forces the point has been reached where available detective time is so taken up by the volume of visits and reports that there is little remaining for actual in vestigation. But because of the random and opportunist nature of burglary, it cannot be said with any confidence that increasing investigative capacity would make a significant and lasting impact on the overall burglary figures.