Burglaries on the rise as most crime falls

TOUGH TALK Deputy Chief Constable Andy Marsh, inset, is promising a continued crackdown on burglars
TOUGH TALK Deputy Chief Constable Andy Marsh, inset, is promising a continued crackdown on burglars

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Police say they are making ground on tackling burglary after figures revealed a rise in the number of raids.

Latest statistics show Hampshire Constabulary received 2,692 reports of house burglaries between April and October.

TOUGH TALK Deputy Chief Constable Andy Marsh

TOUGH TALK Deputy Chief Constable Andy Marsh

This is a rise of almost 11 per cent on the 2,426 reported in the same period the previous year.

In the eastern area, covering Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, and Waterlooville, house burglary reports rose 3.3 per cent from 969 to 1,001 – more than five a day on average.

The rise in burglaries comes as most crimes keep falling.

Police say they are already taking extra steps to combat burglaries as part of Operation Nemesis.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: ‘We do take very seriously the intrusive and violating nature of somebody burgling a house which is why we put a very high priority on investigating.

‘When you consider the number of [house burglaries] per 1,000 households in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight we are a very low crime force for that – of the 43 forces in England and Wales, we are the 16th lowest.

‘The force has got a good track record for reducing burglaries.

‘What we were experiencing during the course of this year was what looked like a change in that and the number of burglaries started to increase, so we put Operation Nemesis in place.’

The crackdown includes publishing ‘wanted’ mugshots of repeat offenders in cases where police believe they know who is responsible for the crime.

This is in addition to regular CCTV and e-fit appeals.

Police are also carrying out undercover operations as well as extra patrols in hotspot areas.

They say the measures are proving to be effective.

In total, 1,458 house burglaries were reported between October and January 15 – 112 fewer than in the same period last year and 181 fewer than in the four months before Operation Nemesis started.

Police made 525 arrests in connection with the crimes.

And detectives have solved 896 burglaries in the current year – that is 244 more than last year, with police getting a conviction in a fifth of all burglaries committed.

Deputy Chief Constable Marsh added: ‘In the last seven weeks we have had week-on-week reduction.

‘Burglary isn’t an offence which is committed by a large number of people, it is an offence which is committed generally by hardened career criminals.

‘What is reflected when burglary goes up is it tends on occasion to suggest that there have been some significant releases from prison or some significant new, unidentified offenders operating within the force area.

‘What we have spent the last few weeks and months doing is meticulously finding out who’s committing those offences and catching them and putting them in front of the courts.’

Most other reported crimes fell, including robberies, which were on the rise this time last year.

But serious violent crimes rose five per cent in the eastern area from 178 to 187 and reports of rape soared 23 per cent from 104 to 128.