Suella Braverman: 'Criminals must have no place to hide'

Police forces have committed to follow all “reasonable lines of enquiry” in an effort to improve investigations and drive down crime rates.

The standards setting body published guidance for officers in England and Wales to consider all potential evidence – such as footage from CCTV, doorbells and dashcams, as well as phone tracking – if it could lead to a suspect or stolen property.

The public will therefore know what they can expect from police when they report a crime such as burglary or theft, according to the College of Policing.

It said this will make the service more consistent across regions and solve more crimes.

While the pledge applies to all crimes, Home Secretary Suella Braverman implored officers to act on leads for phone or car theft, shoplifting and criminal damage.

She said it was “unacceptable” such crimes have been treated as “less important”.

The commitment, agreed by the Home Office, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing, comes as part of a “crime week” of policy announcements planned by the Government.

Ms Braverman said: “The police have made progress in preventing crime across the country with neighbourhood offences like burglary, robbery and vehicle theft down by 51% since 2010.

“Despite this success, since I became Home Secretary I’ve heard too many accounts from victims where police simply haven’t acted on helpful leads because crimes such as phone and car thefts are seen as less important – that’s unacceptable. It has damaged people’s confidence in policing.

“Criminals must have no place to hide. The police’s commitment today is a huge step forward towards delivering the victim-focused, common-sense policing the public deserve.”

The move comes on top of a previous commitment for forces to attend every home burglary in a new set of standards announced last year.

Ms Braverman has also asked for plans from police chiefs on how they intend to improve visibility in communities.

Policing minister Chris Philp said “there is no such thing as a minor crime” and all “merit proper investigation where there are leads to follow”.

“There are now record numbers of police officers and record funding that has gone into policing, including for more patrols in hotspot areas of crime, and to make neighbourhoods more secure with better street lighting and CCTV. Along with camera images, combined with facial recognition, this will mean many more offenders can be brought to justice.”