Detective Inspector Rob Hall, from the Priority Crime Team and Impact Team:
It was a quiet night in a quiet rural town where I once was stationed.
Usually the only sound that would break the silence at that time of night was an owl, so when the burglar alarm sounded at 4am we knew there was a good chance that it was a genuine call.
Approaching the property, we saw that other householders had been awoken from their sleep as bedroom lights turned on, curtains twitched and windows began to open.
If the noise wasn’t enough, the blue strobing light from the box on the wall guided us straight to the house.
As we started up the drive I could see the familiar figure of a known burglar on the ground wedged half in, half out of the door.
Let’s just say he wasn’t a very good burglar. He had broken the glass of the door in an attempt to get, but was too drunk to make much progress and had fallen asleep as he had tried to clamber through the now-broken glazed panel.
Not the most difficult arrest for burglary we had ever had and not the most difficult one to prove. The Polaroid photograph we took of the burglar would tell the court everything they needed to know.
Not all burglars are quite so careless but they generally make a mistake in the end.
During the last few weeks the Burglary Squad has had some great success in catching offenders.
I’d like to say more about that in a future column when cases have been concluded at court but what I can say is that we have seen a reduction in burglaries across the city in recent months.
I wonder what you might say if asked how many houses had been broken into in a week across a Peterborough?
You might be surprised to hear that not long ago, during a seven day period in Peterborough, a total of four houses were broken into.
For somewhere the size of Peterborough, that is a very low figure.
While one burglary is too many for each victim, anything we can to reduce the number of offences makes a difference to someone.
Every day officers from the Burglary Squad, along with their colleagues throughout the force, are working to reduce the number of burglaries and catch those responsible for these offences.
Whether it be through forensic evidence, witnesses’ evidence or the identification of stolen property, burglars generally make a mistake in the end.
They are not all quite as helpful as our friend who fell asleep at the scene of the crime, but when they make that mistake, the Burglary Squad are ready to act.