Humberside Police: Operation Galaxy
We’re all looking forward to Rocking Around the Christmas Tree… but what if there are no presents under it this year?
We’re sorry to say it’s not just your family who are excited to see what’s under the tree this year. Burglars are just as keen to see what you’ve bought for your loved ones.
There are extra measures that you can take to prevent burglary and make sure you still have a jolly Christmas, like making sure your home is protected with a burglar alarm and that you lock your doors and windows.
Also make sure that you keep anything of value out of sight of windows, by keeping presents hidden in your house as well as your car.
But, if you do get burgled, Humberside Police want you to know that you’re in safe hands.
Their Crime Resolution Team (CRT) make sure that’s exactly what you get from the minute you pick up the phone to tell us what’s happened.
As part of their continued efforts to Lift The Police Tape on the work of policing teams, we caught up with CRT officer David Bamford to find out more.
Based in the force control room, when you call 101 to report a crime, it’s likely to be David or one of the other members of the CRT that starts the investigation process.
Whether you’re young or old, you’ve been left feeling shaken, scared, angry or unsettled, they are there to start you back on your journey to feeling safe and secure again.
But that’s not all. They also specialise in capturing all the information we need to get our investigation moving.
We know that many of you would like to see officers sent out to see you straight away, but it’s by getting this information from you when you first call that we can make sure that what we do next is the best course of action.
David has now been in the role for more than two years, after spending the previous 10 years on the beat as a PCSO in Northern Lincolnshire.
He said: “When you’re a victim of crime, we’re here to help you. It’s as simple as that.
“These calls are very in depth, but that doesn’t slow the investigation down – in fact, it speeds it up.
“When people call us, we want to get it right and for them to come away feeling reassured that we know what we’re doing and that we’re doing all we can to help them.
“It’s not like you see on TV but there are things that can help us find the person responsible.”
“In the case of a burglary, we will ask you about how the offender got in and out – the entry and exit points.
“We’ll also ask you about who has been in the property since you discovered the break in and explain why it’s important not to touch things.
“This is because one of the first things we consider if whether there’s any forensic evidence.
“It’s not likely that we will be able to get anything useful if someone’s just moved something out of the way, but it may be that there are hand or fingerprints, scraps of material or blood that could help us catch the offender.
“We will note down all these details and pass them on to our Crime Scene Investigation teams for them to assess and – where appropriate – make an appointment to come and see you.
“Not everyone wants CSI to come out. Some people tell us they’re only calling because they want a crime number, or that they know there have been other incidents in the area and they want us to have the full picture.
“We’ll still take the details and pass them to CSI – though we will let them know what you have said.”
“We will also ask questions to help us get a picture of the offender’s MO – which includes things like how they got in, where they went in the house, what time it happened and what they have taken.
“Most criminals have set ways of working, so by asking these questions we can see if there are any common factors that would link this crime to a suspect, or to other offences.
“Another thing we try to do is narrow down the time frame for when the break in happened so that we can focus our searches through things like CCTV or in appealing for witnesses on our website and social media.
“If they have broken in and also stolen your car – what we call a Hanoi burglary – we will also ask you things like how much fuel was in the vehicle and whether they’ve taken the keys.
“As we’re doing that, we’re also flagging the theft on our national databases so that if the car is spotted by police or cameras anywhere in the country, they will know it’s been stolen.”
This information is then fed through to our Crime Management Units, who put together investigation plans and allocate the case to our detectives for further enquiries.
However, unfortunately in some cases, there are no lines of inquiry to follow up.
David said: “It’s always frustrating when this is the case, but unfortunately, it does happen.
“It’s not a case of us not being interested. We often spend 20 minutes or more talking about what’s happened and trying to find something that we can investigate further.
“But we will never give you false hope – that’s just wrong.”
David said: “Each person’s response to being a victim of crime is different. Some people are totally calm but for other’s, it has a huge impact on them.
“Whatever their response, it’s our role to help them to deal with that and to help them feel safe.
“We will talk to them about whether they are with other people and whether they have any family or friends who are able to come and be with them to help them feel more secure.
“If someone is vulnerable, we will arrange for our Neighbourhood Policing Teams to go out and speak to them about their safety and offer advice about security.
“They can also assess their needs and see if there are any partners that can offer additional help or support for that person.
“People often want to feel like they are doing something about what has happened themselves too, so we will offer advice on how they can do that.
“For example, if a laptop or mobile phone has been stolen but they don’t have the serial number or IMEI number, we might suggest that they post pictures on their local Facebook groups to make people aware they have been stolen.
“For me, it’s about building up a rapport with the person, remembering they are a victim of crime and letting them know we want to do our best for them.”