KENT Police have told the Times they are to review their attendance rate to burglaries as a ‘matter of priority’ – despite the force already having one of the country’s highest attendance rates.
The review follows a pledge by The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) last week (Wednesday October 5) that every home break-in recorded in the UK will now have an officer attend the scene.
The decision followed an announcement last month by the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, that officers in the capital would go to every reported burglary because the crime was ‘too serious an intrusion’ for police not to attend.
Across the country, whether police attend a burglary had been up to individual forces, with some sending officers only to the homes of victims that are vulnerable or elderly, or if there are evidential lines of inquiry to be followed up.
Fewer than half of the 148,764 residential burglaries recorded by police forces in England and Wales in 2021/22 received a visit from a police officer and just 3.5 per cent (5,236) resulted in a charge or summons.
“Kent has a high attendance rate, with burglary rates down and charges up.
But in Kent, figures show that police turned up to more than 80 per cent of the 3,598 recorded burglaries in the county – among the highest rates of any force.
Despite this, Assistant Chief Constable Tracey Harman of Kent Police has told the Times that the force will still look at ways to improve attendance rates following the Police Chiefs’ pledge.
She said: “Following the National Police Chiefs Council statement we are, as a matter of priority, reviewing our attendance rate and exploring ways to improve the service and support victims who suffer a traumatic and invasive experience from this type of crime.
“I hope this commitment will further assure victims that it’s being taken seriously.”
“Our dedicated Chief Constable’s Crime Squad focuses on hardened criminals who regularly commit burglaries and robberies. Since we launched this team in February 2019, they have secured prison sentences totalling 1,578 years and five months.
“These results are a testament to the outstanding expertise of the officers who have undoubtedly made the county safer. We use every power available to target criminals and ensure robust prison sentences are imposed on them.
“There will be no let-up in our efforts. We’re not going away. My message to anyone who commits these types of crimes in Kent is that we are coming for you, we will catch and convict you and you will spend a considerable amount of time in jail.’
Matthew Scott, Kent’s PCC, said he welcomed the decision by the National Police Chiefs last week, and highlighted Kent Police’s ongoing ‘commitment’ to tackle burglary.
He said: “I welcome this morning’s commitment from Chief Constables that police will attend every home burglary