Burglaries up by 25 per cent in Berwick area

Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria

Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria

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The number of burglaries in the Berwick area has risen by a quarter over the past 12 months, according to police figures.

Statistics show there were 80 burglaries in 2013/14 compared with 64 in 2012/13 - a 25 per cent increase.

Criminal damage offences also increased by eight per cent, from 141 to 152.

However, overall crime shows a two per cent fall with significant reductions in violent crime, vehicle crime and drugs crime.

Of the burglaries, 22 were house break-ins - an 83 per cent increase on the previous year - and 58 were to other types of buildings such as sheds and outhouses, a rise of 12 per cent.

The Office for National Statistics has also published the recorded crime figures up until December 2013 which reveals a steep increase in domestic burglaries across the force area.

Liz Jarvis, divisional manager for Northumbria at Victim Support, says: “The rise in domestic burglary of 14 per cent in Northumbria is a real concern.

“Victim Support speaks to tens of thousands of burglary victims every year and we know that burglars don’t just rob people of things with financial or sentimental value – they also leave behind emotional and psychological scars on their victims.”

But Chief Constable Sue Sim said: “While any rise in crime is far from ideal it must be taken in context. We should look at the longer term trends. Levels of recorded crime in Northumbria are almost 58% lower than 11 years ago – equivalent to over 95,000 fewer victims of crime.

“We recognised during last year that acquisitive crime such as burglaries, shoplifting, bike thefts and other thefts was increasing and took immediate action to combat this.”

Police & Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC, added: “Although we live in one of the safest places in the country; Northumbria having the lowest crime rate in our region, we are not complacent about these increases in crime, all of which are being or have been successfully tackled in the months since they occurred.”

She continued: “It is key to note that we have seen a reduction in robbery, criminal damage, arson, drug and alcohol related violence, except for domestic violence. There is a cut too in public disorder and anti-social behaviour is down by 13% on last year and is one of my key priorities in my Police & Crime Plan. These are all issues being tackled by policing teams to keep neighbourhoods safe and the figures to the year end in March show this even more strongly.

“The apparent increase in violent crime is between half and two thirds domestic violence. This is highly unlikely to be a real increase and is almost certainly rather a sign that we are increasing victims’ confidence to report such crimes to the police. This is good news, however it appears and we do want this increase to continue so that men and women suffering in this way can receive the appropriate support and advice. Domestic violence has been under reported for many years and still is so this increase is to be welcomed, as this crime has for a long time been under reported.

“We continue to be a pro-active force. During the year Northumbria Police saw burglaries increase, and this was tackled head on by focusing on known perpetrators.

“It’s no surprise that we have seen an increase in shoplifting in another year when people have faced tough economic challenges at home. I commend Northumbria Police for its proactive stance and I am grateful too for the work that traders have done to help.

“I thank all officers for their continued dedication and I will continue to address the concerns of local residents with the Chief Constable to ensure action throughout the forthcoming year.”

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