Police chief says force is committed to tackling burglary
Telford's chief of police has defended the force's record on tackling burglary saying there was a 30 per cent fall in the number of homes hit last year.
Superintendent Tom Harding also said Telford compares well against towns of a similar size across the country when it comes to the amount of burglaries.
Supt Harding was speaking after it emerged that £4.5 million worth of property had been taken from homes in Telford between January 2014 and October 2017.
He said the force was proud of its record in tackling burglary, but is committed to doing even more.
He said: "For the 2016/2017 financial year Telford saw a 30 per cent reduction in the number of homes burgled when compared with the year before but also the lowest number of offences for many years, I can see as far back as 2012/2013."
He added: "Telford when compared with its most similar towns across the country (we are in a group of 15) have the fifth lowest number of burgled homes per head of population."
Supt Harding said that the burglary figures needed to be seen in the context where their value can increase with the theft of cars.
He said: "Values of burglaries have increased but these can be distorted with the theft of a motor vehicle when compared with other household items.
"Therefore our priority is to provide the highest levels of service to all burglary dwelling victims no matter what the value of items taken.
"Burglary remains a local policing priority across West Mercia as we are aware a person’s home and possessions often carry an emotional attachment and when crime interferes with this it can have a long lasting impact."
Supt Harding said that the force was also using a number of measures to help protect people's property.
He said: "Under the 'We Don’t Buy Crime' project all victims of burglaries in their home will receive a Smartwater kit funded by the PCC to reduce the chances of them every being a victim again.
"We have also created 'We Don’t Buy Crime' areas in Telford where every resident receives a Smartwater kit funded by the PCC. These areas were targeted as they have seen higher levels of offending previously, such as Sutton Hill and Leegomery and have seen reductions of approximately 50 per cent since the introduction of the scheme.
"We are also working in partnership with Smartwater and have a number of arrests and convictions linked to the use of covert investigations. In essence if people wish to target people’s homes then we will be targeting them utilising the latest technology to assist us."