Suffolk: Economy is blamed for rise in burglaries

REPEAT offenders and a struggling economy have been blamed for burglaries of Suffolk homes rising by 13% in a year – the second largest increase in the country.

Recorded crime figures supplied by police forces, and published by the Home Office, have revealed there were 2,029 break-ins between October, 2009, to September, 2010.

Non-dwelling burglaries also rose by 8% to a total of 3,531 offences, compared with the previous 12 months, making a 10% increase in all burglaries.

The only constabulary in England and Wales with a higher percentage increase in all burglaries was the West Midlands with 12%

Suffolk’s assistant chief constable, Paul Marshall, said: “Over the past few years crime has come down significantly, but what we have now is the position where we have reached a plateau.

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“House burglary remains a priority. What we see across Suffolk is there are probably only a very small number of offenders.

“We go through cycles where they are locked up, they come out, we and our partners work with them and they are on the right track. When that level of support reduces they go straight back to crime again. We will continue to focus on the people causing the most harm. The number of house burglaries per 1,000 population of Suffolk is still one of the lowest in the country.

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“From April to September crime went up slightly by .3%. Since September that figure has improved, firstly because of the weather, and secondly because we have run a number of operations targeting specific offenders. We have had tremendous success in tackling burglaries, particularly in Lowestoft.”

There were a total of 46,534 recorded crimes in Suffolk between October, 2009, and September, 2010.

Other increases were in violence against the person (9%), and fraud and forgery (22%).

Mr Marshall said: “When the economy is suffering the types of crimes we see an increase in are fraud and forgery, shoplifting, and acquisitive crime like thefts from houses and from vehicles.

“There are a number of organisations, including banks, that have a part to play in ensuring fraud and forgery offences are kept to a minimum.”

The rise in violent crime is primarily attributed to lower level offences, the majority of which involved non-injury incidents.

Mr Marshall said: “We work very closely with our partners to tackle violent crime. We really hope our partners don’t withdraw their support when the budget cuts hit.

“We will keep working hard to reduce crime in Suffolk. We are really proud of the work we have done.

“The British Crime Survey has indicated the confidence of the people of Suffolk in the police, and councils, in dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour has risen to a point from where we were 37th in the country to eighth best.”

Elsewhere, Essex Police said crime fell by 4% between October, 2009 and, September, 2010.

There were 790 fewer burglaries and 38 less robberies. Vehicle crime fell by 660 and there were 3,241 fewer incidents of criminal damage, a 14% drop.

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