Doncaster police launch new burglary squad and arrest 13 in two weeks

A unit set up to crack down on Doncaster’s burglary problem made 13 arrests in its first two weeks, writes Sgt Stuart Rowse.

By David Kessen
Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 24th February 2020, 1:00 pm

The Doncaster Burglary Tasking Team was set up last month after concerns were raised about break-ins at people’s homes, after an increase in the number of police officers available in the borough.

The new team is making plans, and puts out dedicated burglary patrols each day, based on the crime patterns and statistics we see.

It means we can now give a better response when a burglary is happening, improve how victims are treated after the break-in, and reduce the number of break-ins carried out. We can put our officers in the right place at the right time to maximise the chances of catching suspects.

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Sgt Stuart Rowse is jointly heading Doncaster police's new burglary unit

We initially looked at Cantley and Bessacarr, an area that has seen increases in burglaries. During the first week we arrested three suspects – youths – already wanted for burglary, with stolen property on them. We hope to replicate that in other areas where we see a spike in burglaries.

They were caught on the street with gold items, stolen from a pensioner’s home. They had belonged to her parents, and she was distraught at losing them, but she was overwhelmed when we managed to return them to her.

Wherever we see burglaries, we will go to look at those areas. We will also be checking on people under curfew orders to ensure they are abiding by those, using stop and searches for stolen items, and offering security marking for property. We are also looking at the possibility of bringing officers on off-road motorbikes, and using drones to observe the area from the sky.

We are also making arrests faster where a forensic link is found between a crime scene and a burglary site.

Sgt Stuart Rowse is jointly heading Doncaster police's new burglary unit

We have two sergeants, six PCs, three detective constables and three trainee officers in the unit.

In the longer term, we would also like to deal with drug issues to try to reduce the burglary problem. But we need to bring in the outstanding suspects first, and then we will look at prevention.