Police getting to grips with burglary offences in Waveney

POLICE chiefs in Waveney this week insisted that they were beginning to reap the rewards of their efforts to combat burglaries, despite new figures showing a slight rise over the past year.

Official force figures, published this week, reveal that overall crime in the district is up by four per cent for the 12 months ending on March 31. This equates to a rise of 333 offences – from 8,238 incidents last year to 8,571 this year. However, police have solved 22pc more cases than in the previous 12 months.

While the overall total is up, there is some positive news in Waveney: serious violent and sexual offences are down by 8pc and most serious violent crime – incidents where someone has sustained a significant injury – are down by 10pc, with offenders being traced and dealt with in more than 60pc of cases.

Robberies, which showed a marked rise last year, are down by 16pc from 56 incidents in 2009/10 to 47 in 2010/11, and vehicle crime has fallen by 1pc.

Police are also solving more crime in all the key categories, taking the overall detection rate up from 31pc last year to 36.45pc this year.

As The Journal revealed in January, a big factor in the overall increase is house burglaries, which are up by 10pc.

'This has been the focus for us, with additional patrols, a large amount of work behind the scenes and a number of offenders have been arrested, charged and jailed,' said Det Insp Darrell Skuse, of Waveney CID.

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'Often one individual can be responsible for dozens of incidents... this can be one of the most distressing of crimes. I'd like to thank officers at Lowestoft for all their efforts towards catching and securing convictions against these individuals. and residents can be sure that we will continue to pursue those responsible for crimes.'

Among those caught were a 17-year-old boy, who was jailed for six months; a 17-year-old jailed for 18 months; a 17-year-old jailed for eight months, two 16-year-old boys who were each jailed for 12 months; a 34-year-old man jailed for 27 months, and five Lowestoft men sentenced to a total of more than nine-and-a-half years.

The detection rate for house burglary is 21pc higher this year than last year.

There has also been a rise in the number of drug offences, but part of this is being put down to pro-active work carrying out stop searches and search warrants, which have led to drugs being found and arrests being made.

Anti-social behaviour incidents have fallen from 8,212 to 7,442 – a 9.4pc reduction.

Mr Skuse added: 'Overall, we are pleased that serious violent crime and robberies are down.

'With regards to violent crime this has been largely down to pro-active night time economy patrols which have seen officers intervening quickly and early in disputes to prevent them escalating.'

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