University of Leicester pioneers project to improve distraction burglary police detection in the UK

Posted by ap507 at Apr 19, 2016 10:52 AM |
Criminologists to produce ‘best practice’ guide to help law enforcement detect distraction burglary cases

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 19 April 2016

A new ‘best practice’ guide to help police forces detect cases of distraction burglary throughout the UK is being developed by criminologists at the University of Leicester.

The guide will be an amalgamation of the best strategies used by a number of police forces to successfully detect distraction burglary and will include forensic, data mining and investigative tactics to help law enforcement to identify and solve these crimes.

Dr John Bond OBE, Senior lecturer at the University of Leicester Department of Criminology, explained: “Distraction burglary is a crime where a falsehood or distraction is used on a householder to gain access to the premises to commit burglary.

“The offence is difficult to detect as offenders target vulnerable sections of the community, with most victims being elderly women. Victims often do not realise they have been burgled until the offenders have made good their getaway and also victims’ powers of recall to describe the offence and offenders can be poor. This is an organised crime and offenders carefully select their targets.

“It has been shown that being a victim of distraction burglary can adversely affect the health and wellbeing of the victim, as well as their fear of crime.”

There are approximately 12,000 distraction burglary offences per year in the UK. 

For many years the government, through a multi-agency approach, has sought to reduce the number of these offences with crime prevention advice to potential victims - however, the level of offending remains high. 

The strategy will be launched in the autumn in a series of regional seminars for police forces. 

The project is supported by the University of Leicester Research and Enterprise Division’s Prospect fund, designed to foster an entrepreneurial culture within the University. 

In the Prospect funding application, the team anticipated working with five police forces, but a dozen police forces now wish to participate with more being approached.

As part of the project Dr Bond is working with researcher Alex Murphy and Visiting Fellow in Criminology and acknowledged expert in the mining of police data Dr Rick Adderley from the University of Leicester Department of Criminology.


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr John Bond on


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