I READ an interview in the Adver the other day with a company boss whose premises were burgled twice in less than a year.

He said he’d be interested to hear the thieves’ response if he asked them why they did what they did.

Many victims of crime would like to ask the same question.

Unfortunately for him, the other victims and society at large, the chance of his ever being in a position to ask that question is roughly equal to my chance of escaping without injury if I decided to step off the top of the DMJ while flapping my arms.

I’ll have a go at answering the question, though.

The short answer is that burglars commit burglaries for much the same reason that muggers commit muggings, robbers commit robberies, sex offenders commit sexual offences, knife criminals carry and use knives and, for that matter, a peckish dog left in the same room as an unattended string of sausages will help itself.

In other words, they do it because they can, but it has to be said that the dog is the most likely to feel so much as a shred of remorse.

Although your average burglar, whether they prefer to violate homes, jeopardise businesses or dabble in both, is generally as thick as mince, this does not mean they are without cunning or the self-preservation instincts common to many species of vermin.

Were you to find yourself up against, say, a rat or a cockroach in a Scrabble tournament, I daresay you’d feel pretty confident of victory, but if the fixture were postponed until a year after an impending nuclear war, you’d probably lose by default because your opponent turned up and you didn’t.

When a burglar sets out to steal a load of somebody else’s possessions, they do so in the sure and certain knowledge that they will not be caught unless they are spectacularly unlucky.

Thanks to the tendency of various Governments in recent years to expect police forces to run on spit, baling twine and meaningless reassurances, crimes are often investigated by officers so overworked that they dream constantly of less stressful ways of making a living.

Rowing a galley, for example. Or dragging great big rocks up steep hills 24 hours a day, every day forever while angry badgers nip at their ankles.

On the off-chance that the burglar happens to commit their crime directly in front of a passing patrol, or else does something similarly incriminating such as failing to wear a mask and being caught on CCTV revealing their name, their address and confessing in full and frank terms to the crime, they may be arrested.

Their case will then be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will decide whether to proceed with charges.

The organisation will do this by analysing the evidence and diligently seeking out any reason, however remote, to believe that a conviction is not 100 per cent guaranteed.

Should such a reason be discovered, the case will be either summarily dropped or a reduced charge substituted, such as driving a getaway car with a dodgy bulb or failing to deploy a sign saying Burglars at Work at the scene of the crime.

In the unlikely event of the case coming to court, burglars know an entire apparatus of the state will rumble into life, an apparatus whose sole purpose is to ensure they’ll never face a punishment anywhere near proportionate to the misery they inflict.

Just about any excuse the crook can think of, from needing cash for a sick hamster’s medical treatment to psychological trauma due to excessive mini-kiev consumption during childhood, will be readily accepted.

That, for the benefit of anybody who still wonders, is why such offences happen so often.