In order to write this column I have taken a moment to look back on the last twelve months in terms of the activities of the Peterborough Burglary Squad which I lead, writes DI Rob Hall, Peterboorugh Burglary Squad.
There have been some great successes in catching and convicting those who have decided to break into people’s homes.
Week after week the detectives on the Burglary Squad have looked at crime patterns, visited crime scenes, responded to burglaries in progress, run after offenders, caught suspects running away from crime scenes, studied forensics, obtained search warrants and recovered stolen property.
In short they have done their job.
From my desk I have watched the Burglary Squad office door fly open many times over the last year as the detectives have raced out to a report of a burglary in progress (sometimes I have even joined them).
On one occasion I recall the face of the suspect as we surrounded a house.
He thought he had given us the slip after hiding for a while until he came casually wandering down the drive, pretending to be on his mobile phone, straight in the arms of the waiting detective.
He was a little disappointed to find the CID waiting for him.
There are a number of people who have received lengthy prison sentences for their part in burglaries this year, and a number of them have featured in this newspaper.
Sometimes people are caught quickly, sometimes it might take a while to catch up with them.
All of the hard work of the detectives, their colleagues in uniform and the Scenes of Crime officers who recover forensic evidence, and others in the organisation, has paid off.
In the last twelve months there have been more than 200 fewer dwelling burglaries than the year before. That means 200 fewer victims.
That, to me, is a success story.
Two hundred families or individuals who have not faced coming home to finding their house has been broken into and their property stolen.
Tomorrow the Burglary Squad office door may fly open again, the detectives breaking away from their investigations to respond to a report of a burglary in progress.
If it does, those who still decide to commit burglaries should remember that early knock on the door or that siren in the distance may just be the Burglary Squad coming after them.