Mann: Burglary Don’t Take Our Word Read the HMI Report!

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

Last week we expressed incredulity at the decision of the Manx police to change tactics about the ongoing spate of burglaries on the Isle of Man and we were fairly outspoken in our view. The Police had decided to effectively put a ‘D Notice’ on any further information about areas burgled and numbers of crimes committed.

Naturally, the comments provoked mixed reaction, some support, some vociferous opposition and the usual lampooning on social media.

However, we still hold to our view and maintain it was right to say it.

Our first comment was that although undoubtedly rank and file police officers were putting in inordinate amounts of effort they can only be as good as the supervision and direction they get.

Strangely, in the most recent report of the HMI for England and Wales (a body which also, by invitation, inspects the Manx Force) the same words are used. Commenting on almost half of the 43 Police Forces it inspects HMI says:

“it is because of a deficit in the skill and experience of officers investigating crimes (such as burglary and assault) and a lack of appropriate supervision.”

The other point we made was that even from a lay persons view it seemed sensible to publicise where the burglars had struck.

Again the HMI view would seem to chime with this strategy. They say:

“When a property has been burgled, there is a high risk that it or neighbouring properties will be burgled in the 24 hours following the first offence. Police have been able to disrupt potential criminal activity by providing targeted prevention advice to residents and carrying out patrols in the area in question.”

As one wag put it on social media last week with a touch of irony ‘I’m sure they’ll take the Celtic League’s advice’.

Well perhaps not. But maybe the Isle of Man Constabulary will take a bit of advice courtesy of the HMI!

Relevant links below:

Report; The State of Policing. The Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2013/14

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/wp-content/uploads/state-of-policing-13-14.pdf

The relevant sections are:

‘Summary

• Investigations for some crimes such as burglary and assault are not of the standard expected or required.’

‘Outcomes of investigations

2.33 HMIC is concerned to find that 18 forces require improvement in how they investigate crime, in particular in relation to how they carry out initial investigations such as gathering evidence (including CCTV footage and fingerprints), identifying suspects and providing support to victims. This is not due to an absence of approved guidance on how to investigate crimes; it is because of a deficit in the skill and experience of officers investigating crimes (such as burglary and assault) and a lack of appropriate supervision. Crimes are now being investigated by officers who also respond to calls for service from the public or provide neighbourhood policing services such as patrols, some of whom have not investigated crimes for a number of years.’

‘Evidence-based policing

2.47 During the crime inspection, HMIC looked for evidence of officers and forces learning from their own experiences and employing established good methods of reducing crime to improve the service they provide to the public. A good example of this is the technique known as ’cocooning’. When a property has been burgled, there is a high risk that it or neighbouring properties will be burgled in the 24 hours following the first offence. Police have been able to disrupt potential criminal activity by providing targeted prevention advice to residents and carrying out patrols in the area in question. This technique is now used by most forces, and has been shown to be effective in reducing and preventing the burglary of residential properties.’

Perhaps it’s time the HMI were invited to carry out a new inspection of the Manx Force.

(For information the Celtic League is an accredited NGO (ECOSOC) and our ‘fields of activity’ include ‘Criminal Justice and Citizenship and Governance’).

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League

09/03/15

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur).

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