Police forces in England make 14 arrests for every 100 burglaries, analysis by BBC News has found. The number of burglaries has fallen in a year, but so has the proportion of arrests to recorded crimes. Office for National Statistics figures on recorded crime show there were 392,341 burglaries in 2014-15, while Home Office data shows 54,466 arrests were made for burglary.
Victim Support said people needed to know burglary was taken seriously. West Midlands Police (WMP) had the lowest ratio of arrests to burglaries, with just seven for every 100 crimes. The figures do not take into account people arrested for more than one burglary at the same time, nor those arrested for offences committed in previous years.
Across England the number of recorded burglaries fell from 423,912 in 2013-14 to 392,341 in 2014-15, while arrests dropped from 66,571 to 54,466. It means the rate of arrests has fallen from 16 for every 100 burglaries to 14.
WMP’s lead for burglary, Ch Insp Anthony Tagg said: “We continue to see year-on year-reductions in the number of burglaries, a trend that continued in 2015 when there were 474 fewer house break-ins across the West Midlands compared to 2014 – that’s a fall of 4%.”
He said almost half of the 22,400 burglaries in the region related to non domestic buildings such as sheds, garages and outhouses.
“These often occur in the middle of the night when there are no witnesses or CCTV to assist the investigation so securing arrests and convictions is even more challenging,” he said.
Author and former police officer Mike Pannett, who spent 20 years with the Metropolitan and North Yorkshire forces, said the figures would not show “prolific” offenders arrested for multiple burglaries.
The retired police sergeant, who served on the Met’s Divisional Crime Squad, said: “I remember a case in Battersea in the 1990s when one arrest for a car theft led us to a further 156. I also arrested one team responsible for 96 burglaries.
“This is where good intelligence and police analysis comes into play. If you have a spike in a particular type of crime, you can find that one or two individuals are responsible for a huge crime wave.”
The biggest force in the country, the Metropolitan Police, made 7,519 arrests for burglary but recorded 73,640 crimes, meaning just over 10 arrests for every 100 offences. Cleveland had the highest proportion, with 32 arrests for every 100 burglaries. However, this was down from 46 arrests per 100 burglaries in 2013-14.
Source: BBC News