78% of household burglaries in Dorset went unsolved last year

78% of household burglaries in Dorset went unsolved last year

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:22am 18th February 2020. (Updated at 3:15pm 18th February 2020)

More than three quarters of household burglaries in Dorset are closed without police identifying a suspect.

Home Office figures show that of the 1,913 residential burglaries reported to Dorset Police in 2018-19, 78% were closed with the outcome listed as "investigation complete – no suspect identified".

In 6% of cases, a suspect was identified and the victim supported an investigation but "evidential difficulties prevented further action", while a further 6% of cases were closed because the victim declined or was unable to support any further investigation.

Raids of garages, sheds and outbuildings are included in the figures, as well as home burglaries.

Distraction burglaries, which are recorded as a separate offence, are not included.

Police night

Just 5% of residential burglaries reported to Dorset Police last year resulted in someone being charged or summoned to court, down from 6% in the previous year.

Detective Inspector Ross Graham, of Dorset Police’s Priority Crime Team, said:

“Dorset Police continues to work hard to investigate residential burglaries and we have specialist teams working with partners that actively target burglary suspects, prolific offenders and organised criminal networks. The force also has specialist officers who investigate crime series and identify ongoing crime trends.

“We also continue to offer crime prevention advice and support to help stop people falling victim to such crimes. 

"While we understand the public’s interest in detection rates, it is also important to emphasise that they are not the only measure of investigative performance. Although a crime may not have resulted in a criminal justice outcome, it still will have been investigated. 

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"Additionally, even if a criminal justice outcome is not recorded, a huge amount of work can take place including safeguarding vulnerable victims, working with partners to respond to community issues or resolve anti-social behaviour, taking an educational approach for lower-level first-time offenders or organising local restorative justice.

“Every case is reviewed for solvability. While we always investigate all viable lines of enquiry it is also honest and realistic to recognise that some crimes simply aren’t solvable if the information we are provided with or discover through our enquiries does not identify a suspect or provides enough evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.  

“We understand the impact crime has on victims and feel it is important to work with them by keeping them regularly updated with assistance of the Victims’ Bureau and officers are able to signpost them to crime prevention advice to help protect them from becoming victims of further crime.

For more information and crime prevention advice visit Dorset' Police's advice page.

They're encouraging anyone who has been a victim of a burglary to please report it to Dorset Police. Please call 999 if the crime is in progress, or alternatively call 101 or visit Dorset Police.