In confidence, with Inspector Dave Browning: If a break-in does happen, this is how we tackle it

Inspector Dave Browning
Inspector Dave Browning

One victim is one too many.

But with that in mind let me share some good news.

The number of houses that are broken into in this area is about half the national average (54 per cent).

To put that in context, in about 100 square miles of our part of Calderdale in June, just seven homes were broken into in a month. In the same month only six cars were reported stolen.If ever you want to see crime figures for your area, take a look at website, but I’d rather tell you what we’re doing about it.

At the heart of every investigation is a victim. My team try to treat victims as well as if they were part of their own family. We have systems to ensure that they are kept up to date with how enquiries are going, from start to finish. The process is all about giving them the best possible service.

Part of my team’s initial work involves talking to neighbours; we discuss crime prevention at that point to give the best chance of keeping criminals on the back foot. We check if there’s an active Neighbourhood Watch in the area; if there isn’t we’ll try to set one up. Every investigation is overseen by an experienced Sergeant to ensure that we’re not missing a trick in bringing offenders to justice.

As for offenders, the criminal justice system does its work but on top of that we continue to keep an eye on those who pose the greatest risk of re-offending. Our Integrated Offender Management Team continues to be really effective in, for example, helping offenders to turn away from drug addiction and the desperate need for funds.

What happens to the stolen goods? Traditionally they are exchanged for drugs or money. Our money laundering team has a great track record of stripping criminals of their assets.

So what? Local people are right to have confidence in their local police and council. An increase in crime can dent that confidence and impact on the pleasure of living here.

If the police/council partnership doesn’t have to spend time on investigating crime, we can spend time on reducing levels still further. If we get Neighbourhood Watch and council processes right we can reduce opportunities for criminals to operate in the area, which will bring ever increasing success.

Now what? It would be naïve to think that we can completely stop property crime, but we are on the right track. As I’ve said it before in this series of articles, if local people tell us what’s going on, we’ll do the rest. Let us know about the unusual vehicles and the suspicious looking people and we’ll carry on doing our best to keep local communities safe.