North Yorkshire Police have revealed that home burglaries across the Harrogate district increased by 36 per cent in 2014/15 following a spate of summer offences.
Supt Mike Walker told councillors during a County Area Committee meeting for Harrogate on Thursday, May 26, that there had been an extra 80 dwelling burglaries compared to the year before.
A rise in travelling criminals from West Yorkshire, as well as a number of ‘sneak-in’ burglaries from homeowners leaving their doors open in summer, contributed to the problem, he explained.
However, Supt Walker told councillors that the force had enjoyed success in catching prolific criminals at the beginning of this year and gaining custodial sentences for them.
He said: “We faced a number of challenges during the summer and into autumn last year in terms of dwelling burglaries and this was across the whole of the district.
“Rural areas were targeted as well as areas in towns. A number of these were down to travelling criminals who weren’t travelling too far; coming from West Yorkshire and North East Leeds.
“We did find that a lot of properties were insecure and there were a number of ‘sneak-in’ burglaries where people were leaving their doors open in the summer and criminals would sneak in to steal handbags and purses.
“We’ve had success arresting and charging prolific criminals from West Yorkshire, a number of whom had committed dozens of offences and have now got a number of years in custody.”
Supt Walker said a ‘large proportion’ of this year’s proactive budget would be spent on targeting cross border criminality to reduce burglary as well as continuing to inform homeowners how to keep their homes secure.