Leeds burglary rate “third highest in the UK”

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Leeds has some of the highest rates of burglary in the country, a report has revealed.

The Audit Commission study said that in some parts of the city, burglary rates are three times the national average.

Deprived areas like Beeston, Harehills and Armley and places with lots of students such as Headingley were the worst affected.

The report blamed poor quality housing and a network that allows for easy disposal of stolen goods.

It suggested that, “the ability to rapidly convert stolen goods into ready cash is a key influence on young burglars”.

The report also noted that the 60,000-strong student population, who generally live in poor quality rented accommodation and are away for long periods, proved attractive to burglars.

Although there has been some improvement in burglary rates over the past year, in the past three years the gap between Leeds and the rest of the country has widened.

Between April 2007 and March 2010 the rate nationally went down by 4%, whereas in Leeds it went up by 13%.

On average, 26 burglaries were committed daily in the city last year.

The Audit Commission recommended that the police develop a more focused strategy with clear goals to deal with the problem, particularly when it comes to stolen goods networks.

If you live in the most heavily targeted burglary areas of Leeds, then improving your home security could help deter thieves and protect your home and possessions.

Source: BBC News

Burglary ‘hotspots’ in the UK revealed

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A league table of burglary ‘hotspots’ in England and Wales has revealed a huge disparity between areas at risk.

Manchester topped the list with 35 domestic burglaries per 1,000 homes last year, a total of 7,167, followed by parts of Nottingham and Reading.

Rural Teesdale in Co Durham had the lowest rate, in 2008 they had a total of just 14, or 1.2 for every 1,000 homes.

The Tories say some areas have victims in “almost every street” but ministers say burglaries have halved since 1997.

There has been a 1% increase in house burglaries, the first rise for six years, according to annual crime figures released this month.

Police figures showed there were 284,445 house break-ins in the 2008/9 financial year – which means one victim every two minutes.

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling, whose party uncovered the latest league table, said: “This increase in burglaries is a big problem, and it’s not just down to the recession.

“The jump in drug taking announced last week is also a big factor – since a large proportion of burglaries result from people trying to get money to feed a drug addiction. “We desperately need real action to get police away from filling in forms at their desk in police stations and out on to the beat tackling the problem.”

But Home Office minister Alan Campbell pointed out that burglary had more than halved in the last 12 years with levels remaining flat despite the recession. He said: “We are not complacent however and we want to do more, which is why this week we announced £5m from the Safer Homes Fund to protect people in the most vulnerable communities. “Operation Vigilance allows the police to target more prolific offenders, including burglars, and the Drug Interventions Programme is proving increasingly successful at breaking the link between drug taking and acquisitive crime.”

Last week Greater Manchester Police launched Operation Storm – a crackdown on burglary involving 600 officers. It resulted in 250 arrests, 150 warrants executed and half a million pounds worth of property recovered.

Source: BBC News