THIS WEEK IN 1983: City crime rate soars above 1981 figures

Ear witness Brian Whiting identified the robber's distinctive tones

THIS WEEK IN 1996: Robber caught by his voice alone

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Burglars and car thieves went on their worst ever spree in Portsmouth in 1982, rocketing the city’s crime figures to a new high – 10 per cent above the 1981 figures.

The most disturbing aspect of the city’s new crime rate was that villains had turned their attentions to homes, which were then among the worst-hit targets, wrote The News crime reporter.

The only real consolation in the year’s crime analysis, according to the head of Portsea Island CID, Detective Chief Inspector Ray Turner, was that the level of violence in the city remained the same.

He said: ‘This is a welcome change from previous years, when violence levels were rising annually.’

Across Portsea Island, house burglaries rose by about 20 per cent throughout 1982, and burglars were also far busier breaking into offices and industrial premises.