Burglaries slashed in Leeds as task force hits gangs

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BURGLARY rates in Leeds are at an all time low, according to newly released figures.

West Yorkshire Police recorded 5,305 burglaries in Leeds in 2012/13, compared to a figure of 7,662 in the previous year – a dramatic drop of 31 per cent.

In 2003/04 there were 13,776 burglaries in Leeds and in 1993/4 a total of 25,000 burglaries were recorded

The reduced burglary rates are being attributed to a co-ordinated campaign by West Yorkshire Police, Leeds City Council and a range of partner agencies working together through the city’s community safety partnership Safer Leeds.

The partnership surpassed a challenging burglary reduction target of 5,999 offences for the year 2012/13.

Leeds District Burglary Task Force mounts operations to target organised gangs of burglars, which have led to dozens being caught and jailed.

And intelligence analysts study crime patterns to predict where burglaries will occur.

Police are able to target those areas with patrols while tightening up security at homes near to those that have recently been burgled. Meanwhile, specialist offender management teams target known burglars and work with the probation service and other agencies to offer help to those willing to break the cycle of offending.

Chf Supt Dave Oldroyd said: “When the level of burglary in Leeds was highlighted as being unacceptably high we made a very firm commitment to doing everything we could to change that.

“We brought in a completely new approach that has seen us working more closely than ever before with our partner agencies both on the ground and at a strategic level using a range of smarter and more innovative tactics.

“While we can never be complacent, we are really pleased that these latest figures show that work is continuing to pay off.

“We remain fully committed to reducing the number of victims even further in the year ahead.”

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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