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Car theft and burglary in Harrogate up by 40 per cent, new report shows

Car theft and burglary in Harrogate up by 40 per cent, new report shows

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Lachlan Leeming at 2:28pm 18th June 2019.

Incidents of burglary and theft from cars ballooned by 43 per cent and 40 per cent respectively in Harrogate over the last year, the latest crime statistics for the district reveal.

  • There has been a 40 per cent rise in burglary and 43 per cent increase in thefts from cars in Harrogate between April 2018 and March 2019
  •  Rates of shoplifting (868, down by 54 cases) and anti-social behaviour (4169, down by 838) fell
  • Crime statistics have been revealed in the district's latest safety report

The new figures also show that 98 incidents of hate crime occurred during that time, while rates of shoplifting (868, down by 54 cases) and anti-social behaviour (4169, down by 838) fell.

The figures are part of an annual safety report tabled at a meeting with cabinet member for community safety, Coun Mike Chambers, earlier this month.

The report summarised crimes committed in the district between April 2018 to March 2019.

Commenting on the figures, the council’s community safety and CCTV manager Julia Stack said there was “no real pattern” identifiable in the rise of car theft and burglaries, but reiterated that overall levels of crime in the district meant it remained a safe place to live.

Ms Stack said:

“In the past, particular areas have been targeted and we’ve been able to use our resources accordingly…here we’re seeing no real patterns.”

She added that lax security at people’s homes and vehicles was often identified during investigations into thefts.

She said:

“Many of the burglaries were often because residents left their home unsecured, with criminals not required to ‘break and enter’ to access homes.”

“We do know people who will go around and test door handles (looking for an unlocked home).”

She said a number of the burglaries were identified as so-called “two-in-one” jobs – where a burglar enters a home specifically to steal keys to a vehicle, with high-performance cars a specific target.

Ms Stack also addressed the 4569 incidents caught on Harrogate’s CCTV system from April 2018 to March 2019, with the haul producing 276 pieces of evidence.

The community safety manager said an ‘incident’ could range from anything including a sighting of a missing person or a vehicle of interest, to violent offences or shop-lifting.

She said that nation-wide there was a difficulty in compiling statistics from courts about the use of CCTV footage in securing convictions.

However, the network played an important role in the prevention of crime, she said:

“Not every incident has to produce evidence – we find our cameras do a lot of work in missing persons (incidents), a lot of work about prevention and deterrence.”

Ms Stack said the Harrogate remained a safe district when it came to crime.

She added:

“From a community safety point of view, we still live in a very low crime area

“People should be assured that, compared to our neighbouring cities, our rates of crime are very low.”

She added that residents shouldn’t hesitate to report situations of potential crime.

She said:

“We  do encourage people to report crime, a lot of the time people assume someone else has already done that so they won’t.

“If you see something (like possible crime) that seems out of place , chances are it is.”

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