Average of eight burglaries a day in Ipswich - but only two offenders are charged


More than two-thirds of burglaries in Ipswich last year resulted in offenders escaping justice, according to new police statistics.

The data showed that while an average of eight burglaries took place every day, only two of these ended in offenders being charged. Of the 3,143 burglaries reported, a staggering 2,217 criminals were not brought to justice.

In September alone, 632 burglaries were reported to the police – the equivalent of 21 per day. In light of the news, Suffolk Constabulary has insisted that cracking down on burglaries is important for Ipswich.

Detective Inspector Matthew Connick, from Ipswich CID, said: “Tackling dwelling burglary across Suffolk is a key priority for the constabulary.

“Working to prevent these crimes from happening and solving those that have been committed is a top concern.”

However, the number of burglaries where an offender has been charged has increased by nearly 80%, from 517 in 2013 to 926 last year, despite ongoing government cuts.

Suffolk Constabulary currently faces the prospect of further cuts after the financial deficit facing the police force has reached £20.5million.

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Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore has welcomed the increase in numbers of offenders being charged, but is keen to drive the number of burglaries down further. He said: “We need to remember that each burglary is a violation of each person’s business or premises and can be damaging to victims, so the need to be centre stage in helping them come to terms is essential.

“A higher proportion are being charged and I hope that the greater proportion being charged will send a very clear signal that this behaviour is not going to be tolerated.”

One leading charity which provides practical help and emotional support for burglary victims has raised concerns over the impact a burglary can have on victims. Victim Support in Suffolk local manager, Kate Biles, said: “From supporting thousands of burglary victims every year, we know that the impact of this crime can be long lasting. Our Take No More research with the security firm ADT found children are badly affected by burglary, causing sleepless nights and problems at school.

“What victims want is to see justice has been done and that a criminal is stopped from stealing from other people.”

A police initiative named Operation Drawbridge was launched in 2012 which aims to reduce the number of burglaries taking place.

Det Insp Connick added: “This operation continues, with dedicated teams working across the county to stop offenders by carrying out high visibility patrols in affected areas, gathering intelligence on those responsible and visiting homes or shops where the handling of stolen goods is suspected.”

The figures have revealed a downward trend in burglaries in the town from more than 5,000 in 2010 to 2,787 in 2013, but last year saw an increase for the first time since the turn of the decade.

“The number of burglaries committed has decreased year on year since 2010,” DI Connick said. “Which could be attributed to the pro-active work being carried out in this area and the number of offenders being put before the courts.

“We have also worked hard to make sure that local people are aware of crimes that have taken place and the simple precautions they can take to prevent themselves from becoming victims of burglaries.”

Police are continuing to urge homeowners to make sure doors and windows are locked, leave a light and radio on to give the impression that someone is home, store valuables in obscure locations where they are less likely to be found, and instal security lights or burglar alarms.