Less than two per cent of burglaries solved in Uttlesford so far this year
- Credit: Archant
Less than two per cent of burglary cases in Uttlesford have been solved by police so far this year, according to statistics obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.
Between January 1 and July 31, 229 burglaries were reported in Uttlesford and the figures supplied by Essex Police reveal that only four of those cases have been solved.
The number of house or other building burglaries reported in the district has dropped year-on-year since 2013, but the percentage of cases being solved has also dropped.
In 2013, officers cracked 52 out of 741 cases in Uttlesford - a solved rate of seven per cent. In 2014, that percentage dropped to just over five percent, with detectives solving 29 cases out of 545 crimes.
In 2015, the solved percentage dropped again - to less than four per cent - with results in 17 out of 446 cases.
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In the last three years in total - from January 1, 2013, to July 31, 2016 - just over five per cent of all burglaries in Uttlesford have been solved.
Essex Police has seen sizeable budget cuts since last year when the force announced its plan to make savings of £63million by 2020.
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The number of PCSOs in the county fell from 250 to 90, and Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh also revealed plans to reduce the number of front counters at stations in Essex from 25 to 10.
The force says tackling burglaries remains a top priority but solving the offences is a complex and challenging issue.
DCI John Ross, of the North Local Policing Area (LPA), said: “Burglary is a crime that can have a longstanding impact on the victim and undermine their sense of security, and as such tackling these offences is one of our top priorities.
“Solving burglary offences can be challenging and complex. We use a range of techniques in our investigative approach including conducting forensic examinations where there are opportunities to do so, analysing trends to identify hotspots and dedicating patrol time at key periods.
“We work with other agencies to tackle the causes of offending.
“We look to find innovative ways to work with partners and residents to increase visibility in hotspot areas to act as a deterrent to opportunistic burglars and support schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch.
“Analysis suggests the majority of burglaries are spontaneous, with an offender taking advantage of an insecure window or a UPVC external door that has been pushed shut but not deadlocked, for example.
“However, residents can take some simple steps to make their homes as secure as possible, which can make a big impact.
“Essex benefits from very engaging communities and we readily receive calls reporting suspicious behaviour or intelligence from those who know offenders.”