Recession pushes up crime rate

SUFFOLK: A steep rise house burglaries and shoplifting in Suffolk has been put down to the recession and a major police crime crackdown.

SUFFOLK: A steep rise house burglaries and shoplifting in Suffolk has been put down to the recession and a major police crime crackdown.

Between April and the end of August this year there was a hike of 21per cent in domestic break-ins and more than 200 additional shop thefts compared to the same period in 2008, according to police figures.

One of the county's most senior officers said the 136 extra burglaries can be attributed in part to a special operation in Ipswich aimed at a mass arrest of thieves.

However, temporary assistant chief constable Martin Jelley added the country's economic meltdown is also likely to have had an effect on burglaries increasing from 655 to 791.


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His views echo a warning late last year from chief constable Simon Ash, that the recession was likely to have an impact on acquisitive crimes.

Mr Jelley said: “For the first five months of the (financial) year burglary is showing an increase and we have been working hard to get on top of that. One of the things we have done to deal with this short-term blip is put resources together, particularly in the Ipswich area to focus on this.

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“We know we have got hotspot areas and we are out there tackling them.

“It would be na�ve to think the economy doesn't affect crime levels, because history tells us it does.

“That said the rise we have had for this year, in large part, can be attributed to the operations we have run in Ipswich which created a lot of offences.

“Shoplifting has also shown a rise in the first five months of this year. It is something in the region of more than 200 offences up on this time last year. Part of it is, we suspect, economy driven and part of it is some stores have more store detectives.”

Serious sexual offences have also increased sharply over the same period by 18pc from 234 reports last year to 275 this year.

Although there was also a nine per cent increase in robberies, on the plus-side police said vehicle crime had decreased by 15% from 1,868 offences in April-August 2008 to 1,589 this year.

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