WILTSHIRE Police have said that they will still respond in person to burglaries, despite recent budget cuts.

Earlier this week, the head of the new National Police Chiefs’ Council said people should not expect an officer to necessarily turn up at burglaries.

Sara Thornton said it “could be” if an iPad was stolen from a residential property, then an officer would not come to investigate.

She said due to the changing nature of crime – with sexual offences and concern over terrorism on the increase, along with austerity cuts – police forces will have to relook at their priorities.

But T/Superintendent and Head of Crime Standards and Justice Adrian Burt says residents in Wiltshire can still expect an officer to turn up.

He said: “Preventing crime and protecting the public will always be our purpose and we recognise the impact a burglary can have on victims and their families.

“I am aware of the debate surrounding police attendance following reports of burglaries. We are facing very challenging times regarding budget cuts and we are continually reviewing our effectiveness and efficiency to ensure the public continue to receive a high quality service.

“There are currently no plans within Wiltshire Police to stop attendance at the home of a burglary victim, or to stop investigations into this type of crime. If anyone has been a victim of a burglary in our county, they are urged to report it via 101.”

Wiltshire Police have seen £16.8m in funding cuts over last four years and the force is expected to save a further £3m a year over the next three years.

A total of 153 officers have been lost since 2010, and Wiltshire Police have fewer officers per head of population than any other force.

Earlier this month the Wiltshire Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, warned some duties would be abandoned while certain criminals would get away without being punished.

“Drink-drivers are getting away with it,” said chairman Mike White.

“This is not scaremongering, this is happening. Some suspects arrested for being over the limit at the roadside are under when finally tested at the station.

“Officers are single-crewed and being sent into dangerous situations not knowing how far away back up might be.

"My members are telling me that there are times where there are not enough officers to service emergency calls so they have no choice but to attend violent situations alone.”