Initial scene visits to house burglaries

  • Taylor M
  • Hirst J
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The Audit Commission Report “Tackling crime effectively” (Audit Commission, 1994) prompted interest in the police handling of routine calls from the public, and in particular on the routine resourcing of responses to high volume crime such as burglaries. A programme of five research projects on routine reactive policing issues was therefore undertaken by PRG in 1994 and 1995. This report on initial scene visits to house burglaries describes the results of one of those projects. Six scene visit schemes set up by English police forces were examined in detail. If the force aimed to send specialists to house burglaries, it was found more effective to set up a team of approximately four to seven officers. These numbers were sufficient to resource the visits without being so many that team cohesion was lost. One approach led to a saving of about 0.7 officer-visits per house burgled. This equated to a saving of approximately 1.4 police officers on the payroll of a typical sub-division, given the current level of reported house burglaries, without any detrimental effect on service provision. The study suggests some good practice for operating scene visit schemes. Further work on improving police use of resources in responding to high volume crime is being taken forward as part of the cost effectiveness studies on crime management identified in the Report on the Review of Police Core and Ancillary Tasks.

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  • Mike Taylor

  • Jane Hirst

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