Express & Star

Star comment: If police are going to attend every burglary, sentences must be more severe too

Anyone who has suffered a burglary will confirm that it is anything but a minor crime. Yet the police’s prospects of catching burglars are almost negligible. All too often, victims are left alone to pick up the pieces with little more than a call to Victim Support to assist.


The reality is that burglaries have a huge impact on victims. Those who carry them out inflict a huge amount of damage and are normally serial offenders. They cause damage to property, steal items of emotional importance and leave psychological scars.

And so we welcome the pledge by police to attend all burglaries. Our forces say they already practice good work in helping victims and a visit is a start. People who are a victim of a burglary must know that it will be investigated properly. It is not sufficient for them to be fobbed off having filled in a form and been issued with a crime number.

Our police must also be supported in their work. That means they are properly funded and fully staffed so that good old-fashioned policing on the ground can continue. All too often, burglars live within a short distance of those whose homes, sheds and garages they violate. Keeping an ear to the ground and working with police helps offices to track down culprits and provide some form of closure to people whose property has been defiled.

In addition to better detection rates, the criminal justice system also needs to provide a better deterrent. When burglars know they are unlikely to be caught, or, if they are caught, they are likely to face a metaphorical slap on the wrist, there is little to deter their nefarious activity.

If the Government is looking for growth in the economy they could do far worse than turn to Kevin McCloud. He is bursting with ideas on how to revitalise our town and cities. While Liz Truss has confirmed herself to be an ideologue, it is left to others to present creative ideas on how rank-and-file citizens can get through the cost of living crisis.

That’s where such characters as Kevin McCloud and money saving expert Martin Lewis come in. Giving the poor start the present cabinet has made to governing the UK, perhaps Mr McCloud should be given a cabinet role in housing while Mr Lewis is offered a job at the Treasury. Common sense is important to the general public, as our practical ideas that help us to save money and lead better lives. Winter will be a challenge, the suggestions of Mr McCloud and Mr Lewis couldn’t be more helpful.