Report by Alex Evans, Reporter
Saturday, April 28, 2012
POLICE are warning residents to be extra vigilant after burglary increased almost six per cent year-on-year in the town centre - and 18.5 per cent in one residential neighbourhood.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary is urging people across Weston to take care as summer approaches, stating that burglaries often rise when the days become longer and lighter.
Figures released this week show burglary at homes in the town centre increased from 68 to 72 between April 2011 and March 2012 compared to the previous year.
Statistics for the Ashcombe neighbourhood show a jump from 54 to 64 over the same time period.
Sergeant Mark Raby said: “Almost 40 per cent of burglaries take place at insecure premises, so please don’t leave your purse, telephone or car keys near to open windows. Potential burglars may try a few doors before they find an open one, so it is also really important that you report any suspicious behaviour immediately.”
The figures also show drug offences in the town centre have increased by 20.6 per cent year-on-year, from 175 to 211, although police attributed the rise to a clampdown on drugs in the last year, including their successful Operation Relentless which saw a number of dealers locked up.
Fraud and forgery have increased by a third in the town centre year-on-year, up from 30 to 40, which Superintendent Julian Moss has previously linked to an increase in motorists leaving petrol stations without paying.
Shoplifting in the town centre has dropped by 13.4 per cent, down from 366 to 317, but theft has increased by 13.7 per cent, up from 402 to 457.
Violent offences have dropped by 3.4 per cent from 757 to 731 year-on-year in the town centre and robbery has dropped by 33.3 per cent, down to 14 from 21.
In the Ashcombe area, drug offences have increased by 78.9 per cent year-on-year, up from 38 to 68.
Shoplifting is up 26.5 per cent from 34 to 43, while theft is up 11.9 per cent from 126 to 141.
But violent offences in the area are down by 5.8 per cent year-on-year, from 173 to 163.