There has been a significant rise in burglary offences across Leeds, with police suspecting that a housing boom is partly to blame for the increase in offences.
New statistics have shown that 5,227 domestic burglaries were reported in the city in the 12 months to September.
This was a 30 per cent rise on the previous year’s figures and the biggest jump recorded across the wider West Yorkshire region.
A number of factors are thought to have contributed to the increase, including the recent development of a number of new housing estates.
Newly-built homes which have yet to be occupied are a tempting target for burglars, who often remove boilers or other equipment to sell on.
Det Insp Dave McDougal, from the Leeds District neighbourhood crime team, said: “We are working closely with building firms to make sure they have suitable security and crime prevention measures in place and we are conducting detailed research of the stolen goods market to identify where these items are going.”
Changes in recording practices in areas with a high student population may also have had a bearing on the latest annual figures.
Under the new system, burglaries committed in a multi-occupancy property with, for example, six different rooms will be classed as six burglaries, rather than just one – as would have been the case under old recording methods.
Although West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson fears that reduced resources may also be playing their part.
“It is important to understand that changing crime levels are not only impacted by crime data but also by reducing budgets,” he said.
“Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary initially estimated that the police should be able to maintain service delivery with cuts of up to 12 per cent, however since March 2010 the West Yorkshire Police budget has reduced by approximately 20 per cent. Unfortunately this is likely to have a negative impact in crime levels going forward.”
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