Burglaries action vow in Lowestoft

SENIOR police officers insist that they're making Lowestoft a safer place to live despite new figures revealing a big rise in burglaries and robberies over the past year.

SENIOR police officers insist that they're making Lowestoft a safer place to live despite new figures revealing a big rise in burglaries and robberies over the past year.

New official figures given to The Journal this week show that overall crime in the district was down by 0.5pc for the 12 months up to March 31 this year. That equates to a year-on-year decrease of 44 offences from 8,270 recorded offences in 2008/9 to 8,226 this year.

The Waveney figures are also slightly better than the Suffolk-wide picture, which shows a 0.2pc fall.

But more alarmingly, the figures also show that house burglaries (up 36pc) and robberies (up 12pc) have increased markedly across the district during the past 12 months.

Despite this, senior officers say that they're confident of turning the tide after a series of arrests.

This week, seven men and a teenager were charged with conspiracy to commit house burglary after a spate of break-ins in Lowestoft during the past six months, and detectives say they're continuing to concentrate their efforts on a hard core of persistent offenders.

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'The number of robberies in the district has increased by 12pc from 50 incidents last year to 56 incidents this year and house burglaries are up by 36pc from 341 last year to 465 this year,' Det Chief Insp Jim Keeble told The Journal.

'It has been a challenging year given the volume of burglaries over the winter…However this has been a priority for police, with officers targeting those responsible for this type of crime, and resulting in charges this week for conspiracy to burgle. This work continues.

And Mr Keeble stressed: 'Violence against the person with injury is down by 2pc from 903 incidents to 888 incidents, and most serious violent crime is down by 9pc from 66 incidents to 60.

'We must remember that Suffolk remains a safe place to live, work and visit - there was less crime in the county again this year, despite the challenge that a national recession can bring. This is a solid foundation on which we, and our local authority partners, will build on for the year ahead.

'We are committed to ensuring that people in Waveney feel safe and they feel we are doing a good job.'

The latest figures show that for the five safer neighbourhood team (SNT) areas in Waveney - Lowestoft North SNT, Southwold & Halesworth SNT, Lowestoft Central SNT, Lowestoft South SNT and Beccles and Bungay SNT - there was a mixed overall picture.

Total recorded crime:

Lowestoft North SNT - 1,778 offences in 2009/10 up from 1,753 crimes in 2008/9 (1.4pc rise).

Southwold & Halesworth SNT - 423 offences in 2009/10 down from 496 crimes in 2008/9, (down 14.7pc).

Lowestoft Central SNT - 3,274 offences in 2009/10 down from 3,362 crimes in 2008/9, (2.6pc fall).

Lowestoft South SNT - (figures at January 31, 2010) 1,480 offences in 2009/10 up from 1451 crimes in 2008/9, (2pc fall).

Beccles and Bungay SNT - 989 offences in 2009/10 up from 936 crimes in 2008/9, (5.7pc rise).

Waveney-wide figures have also shown that four key crime areas have decreased in the past year.

Vehicle crime is also down by 1pc year on year, with criminal damage having fallen significantly by 9pc.

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