Burglary

The Police's involvement in a domestic burglary begins the moment you call.

If the burglary is still going on call 999 and we'll send an officer straight away. If it's already taken place call 101. Officers will come to your house as soon as possible.

Burglary in progress?

If the burglary is still going on then different levels of response will be sent depending on circumstances & availability. We perform house to house enquiries to gather information as well review nearby CCTV footage.

Officers will look for forensic evidence, like fingerprints or footprints and if found a Crime Scene Investigator will attend.

Burglary already happened

If the burglary has already happened we perform house to house enquiries to gather information as well review nearby CCTV footage.

Officers will look for forensic evidence, like fingerprints or footprints and if found a Crime Scene Investigator will attend.

Forensics found

Fingerprints are run against our National database for a match. If a match is found officers will look to find and arrest the suspect.

After a statement is taken, officers will leave contact details and ask you how regularly you'd like to be contacted with any developments. The investigation is then handed over from reactive officers to the Burglary Unit.

If clear CCTV images are found, they are shared within the police force and sometimes released to the media. Photo-fit profiles will be generated providing there's a good description of the suspect. If the public recognise the suspect, they should contact the police straightaway.

No forensics found

If no forensic evidence is found, after a statement is taken, officers will leave contact details and ask you how regularly you'd like to be contacted with any developments. The investigation is then handed over from reactive officers to the Burglary Unit.

If clear CCTV images are found, they are shared within the police force and sometimes released to the media. Photo-fit profiles will be generated providing there's a good description of the suspect.

If the public recognise the suspect, they should contact the police straightaway.

Suspect recognised

You can report information anonymously via Crimestoppers or by contacting the police directly on 101.

We can't stress enough how important it is for witnesses to come forward to help us gather as much evidence as possible. It's often because of a lack of evidence that many burglaries, after being investigated, result in ‘no further police action'. However, if new evidence comes to light the case can be reopened.

If a suspect is identified we'll look for and arrest them. They'll be taken into custody where we'll interview and ask them about the evidence we've gathered.

Suspects may be asked to participate in a video identification parade or VIPER.

Identification and arrest

If a suspect is identified we'll look for and arrest them. They'll be taken into custody where we'll interview and ask them about the evidence we've gathered.

Suspects may be asked to participate in a video identification parade or VIPER.

VIPER

During a VIPER a video profile of the suspect is shown and the witness will be asked to identify the suspect from amongst at least 11 other images.

Even after a positive ID the suspect may dispute identification and provide an alibi. If this is the case the suspect will either be kept in custody or released on bail whilst enquiries take place to confirm the alibi or review evidence.

Once the evidence is gathered the files are presented to legal representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service. They will decide whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction. If we have good enough evidence a quick decision will be sought from the CPS.

From here one of two actions can be taken.

Files presented to CPS

Once the evidence is gathered the files are presented to legal representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service. They will decide whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction. If we have good enough evidence a quick decision will be sought from the CPS.

From here one of two actions can be taken.

Charged

If the Crown Prosecution Service decide the case should go to court, the suspect will be charged and given a court date. If there is a risk of further offences being committed or the suspect not attending the court hearing, they may be sent to prison on remand.

Released

If the Crown Prosecution Service decides the case shouldn't go to court, the suspect will be released without charge or released on bail while the police carry out further enquiries.

Conclusion

Now you've read what's involved in a burglary investigation, you know the vital part you can play in coming forward with any information. If you want to find out about crime in your area and what the police and criminal justice agencies are doing to tackle it, type your postcode into police.uk.

To get more information on how to help prevent a burglary please go to the information and advice section of this website.