How non residential burglaries are solved : the effectiveness of police operations
The following study has three principle aims and objectives: 1) understand how the police deal with ‘Burglary other Building’ incidents; 2) appreciate which investigative activities and operations undertaken lead to the successful detection of these BOB incidents; 3) assess the scope for adjusting existing investigative operational procedures into crimes classified by the police as ‘Burglary other Building’, or non-residential burglary, with a view to boosting detections. The research was based on a sample drawn from a population of 7070 ‘burglary other building’ incidents recorded by West Midlands Police over a six month period between April 1st and September 31st 1998. The study made use of both contemporaneous primary, and secondary sources of data. The primary data was provided by police officer questionnaires, whilst the secondary data was collected from police records and databases. The police solved a significant minority of cases (15.3%). The police were found to use a number of diverse methods to achieve this success. The principle means of detection were the arresting of offenders at or near the scene and the use of evidence gathered at the scene either through the questioning of individuals or through SOCO examination. Allied to this, more proactive investigative techniques proved useful in the investigative process. There appear, however, to be a number of areas that may still offer some scope for improvement.