Violent crime figures down

Burglar breaking into house
Burglar breaking into house
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VIOLENT crime has fallen, but burglaries have risen on the Fylde coast, new police figures have revealed.

The amount of properties being burgled went up by 71 compared to last year – a rise of 8.7 per cent, while there were 114 more thefts from cars and people - a 5.8 per cent increase.

Vehicle crime in the Fylde also increased during the last year as the number of incidents increased by 57 from 998 to 1,055 a rise of 5.7 per cent.

But other statistics highlighted improvement, including hate crime which dropped by 22.1 per cent - a drop of 42 crimes - and racially aggravated crime which fell by 33 per cent - a reduction of 31 offences.

Violent crime, robbery and criminal damage also dropped during the 12 month period.

Chief Constable Steve Finnigan, from Lancashire Police, declined to answer questions on crime statistics going up, but praised the efforts of his force.

He said: “Crime in the county is low and once again we have seen a reduction in the number of incidents being reported to us.

“From a force perspective it’s encouraging, and in particular because the organisation has gone through a lot of changes.

“We have had to cut money.

“The big issue now is sustainability and I don’t underestimate how difficult that will be, but I know my staff will do it and keep people away from harm.

“We will continue to reduce and detect crime and keep people safe particularly those who are most vulnerable.”

Overall in Lancashire, crime fell by 3.1 per cent from 102,496 to 99,336 incidents.

DCI Brian Quinn, of Blackpool Police, said the rise in burglaries was against a backdrop of year-on-year decreases.

He added: “There was a spike in December which we tackled using Operation Julius. It has come back under control in the last quarter and it is the priority of me and all my staff to do all we can in our power to reduce crime.”

Coun Malcolm Doherty, chairman of Lancashire Police Authority, welcomed the drop in crime on the Fylde coast.

He added: “This last year has seen the Constabulary implement a change programme that will have affected everyone who works in the organisation in some way, as we have sought to identify savings of £43m.

“We are aware that as funds become tighter, ongoing cuts in crime levels will become even more difficult to achieve, particularly when crime is already at historically low levels.

“The overall objective, to keep Lancashire residents safe, remains the most important element of what we do.”