‘Police could stop attending burglaries’, warns national chief

Police may have to rethink activities such as this summer drink/drive campaign.
Police may have to rethink activities such as this summer drink/drive campaign.
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Police may stop attending crimes such as domestic burglaries, the head of the new National Police Chiefs’ Council has said.

In comments which echo a warning from Cleveland police , Sara Thornton said budget cuts, coupled with the changing nature of crime in England and Wales, meant forces would have to reconsider the priority they gave to different offences and needed to have a “conversation with the public” over possible changes.

Simon Nickless

We make difficult decisions on a daily basis about where to deploy our available resources to reduce serious threat, risk and harm in our communities.

“Crime is changing in this country,” said Ms Thornton.

“There are a lot less burglaries than there used to be, a lot less car crime, but the sorts of crimes that are on the increase - sexual offences, concerns about terrorism, cyber crime - that’s where we need to focus.”

Cleveland Police warned recently about the need to rethink its priorities after revealing officers will make 59 arrests, carry out 37 stop and searches, deal with 121 incidents of antisocial behaviour, respond to 12 incidents linked to mental health issues, and receive 206 999 calls and 11 missing persons reports every day.

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Nickless said: “We make difficult decisions on a daily basis about where to deploy our available resources to reduce serious threat, risk and harm in our communities.

“The evidence shows we absolutely must move on from just traditional forms of policing, and the challenge is to look at the incoming demand from new and emerging crime types such as cyber and additional complex investigations.

“Criminals are sitting behind keyboards and conducting activity in private – boots on the ground do not and will not disrupt this activity.”