Crime is down in Lowestoft and Southwold but still some concern – police

RECORDED crime in Waveney has fallen by almost three per cent over the past nine months.

Figures published by Suffolk police show the number of crimes reported in Waveney division – covering the Lowestoft, Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth, and Southwold areas – was 6,484 between April and December last year.

The total is 2.6pc down on the 6,657 crimes recorded over the same period in 2010

With recorded crime across Suffolk also down by 1.1pc on the previous year, police chiefs are calling on people to stay vigilant and help them ensure Waveney, and the county as a whole, remains a safe place to live.

Waveney and Suffolk Coastal Superintendent Phil Aves said the latest figures included some 'very good results' but there were also some areas of concern. 'Violence against the person offences are down by 6pc, vehicle crime is down by 9pc and criminal damage offences are also down by 8pc,' he said.

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'However we have seen a rise in the number of burglary and robbery offences.'

The figures show burglaries are up from 407 between April and December 2010 to 426 between April and December 2011 and robberies (of business premises and individuals) from 36 in 2010 to 45 last year.

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Supt Aves said: 'For much of the year burglary has been the focus for officers at Lowestoft and over the past six months or so we have seen the jailing of many prolific offenders. However new burglars arrive in the town and others well known to us are released and the problems have continued, despite some periods where we have seen a lull.'

Despite this, Supt Aves said, the burglary problem was now 'nowhere near as bad' as it was in the summer.

'We are tackling it,' he said. 'Earlier this year it was 90 offences up, now it is less than 20 up – the actual work over the last six months has been really positive. But while this has gone on we are not finished. Our message to the burglars is that we are out there and you will be caught and locked up – and it will be for a long time.'

He said the help offered by members of the public was crucial in bringing persistent offenders to justice.

'The detection rate for burglary this year is about 30pc – that is really good and it's a great effort in any county. It is a positive that goes with catching the people and locking them up,' he added. 'We have had positive calls from the public and this added to crime reduction advice all helps to catch the burglars.'

The figures, released this week by Suffolk police, also show that burglaries of other buildings (sheds, garages, business premises and shops) were 15pc down across Waveney from 460 offences in 2010 to 390 last year. Meanwhile, offences involving violence against a person were down by 6pc, assaults resulting in injury were down 10pc from 723 to 653 and public order offences down 22pc, from 351 incidents to 273.

Supt Aves said this highlighted the benefit of pro-active night patrols, which saw officers intervene quickly and early in disputes to prevent them escalating, improvements with CCTV coverage and good support from pubs and clubs.

'If you look at that as an overall picture there is less disorder on the streets, less assaults taking place and I do think there have been big improvements to the night-time economy,' he said.

Burglars trash family home – page 18

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