IT was revealed the other day that a little over 94 per cent of burglaries in Wiltshire go unsolved.

However, a senior officer pointed out that this figure applied to all burglaries, including those targeting commercial premises.

He went on to explain that when only home burglaries were considered, 14.57 per cent of offences were solved.

Phew, that’s a relief. There was me thinking that nearly 19 out of 20 criminals who violated the sanctity of a blameless person’s home, taking not only the property they worked to pay for, but also quite possibly their peace of mind, got completely away with it.

In fact, only about 17 out of 20 criminals who violate the sanctity of a blameless person’s home, taking not only the property they worked to pay for but also quite possibly their peace of mind, get completely away with it.

I don’t know about you, but that sets my mind completely at rest. After all, what desperate criminal, perhaps in the crazed throes of some sort of drug withdrawal, would want to risk committing a burglary knowing they had a whopping three in 20 chance of being caught?

Figures for detection as a whole in our county are even more impressive. It seems that overall, 22.1 percent of offences committed in Wiltshire lead to a perpetrator being cautioned, charged or handed a community penalty.

Or to put it another way, out of every 100 crimes committed in this county, roughly a mere 78 criminals aren’t caught and are absolutely free to commit more crimes.

I’m so glad that this information has come to light, as it proves we really are safe from crime and shouldn’t believe lies in the media suggesting otherwise.

Nor should we believe the naughty media when it says funding cuts are leaving frontline officers, no matter how dedicated, virtually unable to fight crime effectively.

Admittedly the Police Federation displayed adverts saying more or less the same thing on buses a while back, but that was probably a misunderstanding. The release of the data came hot on the heels of the announcement that Swindon’s neighbourhood policing teams as we know them are to be abolished. Members of those teams will be based not at local police points but at the main police station.

I welcome the news, as it encourages us all to take a more proactive role in looking out for our own homes, businesses and each other.

We should all make sure, for example, that windows, doors, sheds, garages and outbuildings have stout locks, and that we use those locks.

We should also display signs warning potential burglars that they’re in a Neighbourhood Watch area, even if it isn’t really a Neighbourhood Watch area.

As a wacky alternative, we could display signs with other messages, such as: “Dear burglar, If you broke in here and never left, do you think anybody would miss you? P.S. The neighbours hate you, too, and all the police are at Gablecross, so feel free to scream as loudly as you like.”

Remember, however, that killing or deliberately causing undue harm to burglars is highly illegal. It is what senior police officers call taking the law into one’s own hands.

Mind you, with 94 per cent of burglaries going unsolved, it seems the law is mostly in the same pair of hands that lifts your valuables in the dead of night.

It’s time they took some responsibility

I HOPE everybody’s heart is filled with loathing for Twitter, Facebook and other social media for failing to do their bit in the fight against terrorism.
As politicians of various stripes have been pointing out, the rantings of assorted terrorist advocates and deranged preachers can still be found on various sites whose owners seem loath to take them down.
The sites should go a lot further than taking such things down; they should make it a criminal offence to say anything a jury considered an incitement to commit terrorist offences. They should also see to it that anybody convicted of such an offence is automatically chucked in a cell and not allowed out again until they’re too old and frail to do anything more taxing than suck a boiled sweet.
Hang on, though. My mistake. Twitter, Facebook and the like, don’t have the power to make laws and ensure wrongdoers are adequately punished. It’s politicians who have the power to do that.
They’ve already come up with some laws and sentencing guidelines, now I think of it. You may remember the case of a bloke called Richard Dart, for example. That happy camper and a couple of his mates were offended by Royal Wootton Bassett’s role in the repatriation of fallen British military personnel, so they plotted an act of mass slaughter there.
When Dart, who had attended terrorist training camps overseas, was brought to court, he was handed a sentence of six years, meaning he’ll be out in about three.
Is it just me, or do the people we pay to protect us from terrorism do more buck-passing than folk on a scenic tour of an all-male deer park?

  •  “PARISH Plans Found Wanting in the Details,” said our headline about the latest developments in the plan to hand over a load of our services to parish councils.
    It seems that with just eight months to go before the big handover of power, one or two issues have yet to be ironed out.
    They’re nothing to worry about, just small things such as who the hell is supposed to be doing what, where the equipment’s supposed to be coming from and who, if anybody, will be overseeing the new parish bodies to ensure the entire borough doesn’t descend into anarchy and chaos, but let’s not become too picky.
    After all, the parish bodies could simply take out contracts with various current borough council suppliers and contractors, allowing things to tick on more or less as they always have done.
    Now I think about it, that’s a brilliant solution. In fact, it couldn’t be more brilliant had it been the plan all along.
    Of course, with the new parish precepts on top of our council tax we’ll effectively be paying twice for something we’ve already been bankrolling for years, but like I said, let’s not become too picky.