Revealed: 20 homes a month are targeted in Isle burglaries

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BURGLARS are targeting around 20 properties a month on average in the Isle of Axholme, figures obtained by the Epworth Bells have revealed.

Statistics gained through the Freedom Of Information Act show there were 235 reported burglaries and attempted burglaries to homes or other buildings across the Isle in 2012.

The figure was down on those for 2011, which showed there had been 312 reported break-ins. We can reveal the highest number of burglaries was in Belton and this comes just a week after two village victims told how the crime had left them with a “lasting legacy of fear.” Meanwhile, other areas fared better year-on-year.

Burglaries in Epworth and Crowle have virtually been halved from 2011 to 2012.

Matthew Grove, police and crime commissioner for Humberside, said this week that tackling burglaries was a “top priority” having been a former victim of the crime himself.

He said: “Having experienced burglary at my family home when I was a child, I know the effects victims experience. Burglary is a distressing crime and it will always be a priority to reduce it.”

The figures, released by Humberside Police, show there were 50 reported break ins in Belton last year, the highest of all the Isle villages. This number was slightly down on the 2011 total of 55.

There were 73 incidents in Epworth in 2011, but this was reduced by around half in 2012 with just 37 burglaries.

In Crowle, burglars targeted 17 properties last year, a marked reduction on the 2011 figure of 41.

Other villages had remarkably low burglary rates in 2012, with just two in Amcotts, two in Sandtoft and none in Beltoft.

Haxey showed an increase from 27 incidents in 2011 to 36 in 2012 and Westwoodside saw a rise from seven burglaries in 2011 to 23 in 2012.

There were just three burglaries in Wroot last year, down from 24 in 2011.

Mr Grove said there had been a reduction because police had targeted repeat offenders, and praised the public for their assistance.

He said: “We now have far fewer victims of burglary than we did 12 months ago.

“Most burglaries are committed by prolific repeat offenders known to the police, and by targeting them we have been able to significantly reduce the number of innocent victims.

“Criminals often target rural areas because they see them as an easy target, but thanks to community groups such as Neighbourhood Watch and Country Watch, the public are uniting with the police in cutting crime, and I urge everyone to get involved to join a community group, or consider becoming a special constable, which I have made a priority in my police and crime plan.

“A large percentage of burglaries are due to insecure premises, so making sure you secure windows, doors and outbuildings will make life difficult for the criminals.”

Humberside Police did not comment on the findings.