May 22 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Burglaries in Norwich have plummeted to their lowest level in almost two decades, with police hailing a crackdown on prolific offenders and praising householders for beefing up security.
Just 12 burglaries were reported last month, the lowest monthly level since monthly records began back in 1995, and over the past four weeks there have been just eight break-ins.
Superintendent Paul Sanford, the city’s senior police officer, welcomed the fall and said householders had played their part in keeping the criminals out of their homes.
He said Norfolk police had also targeted known burglars, identifying trends and linking offences to help track down the culprits.
Supt Sanford said: “I think the reduction can be attributed to a number of factors including good police work, identifying trends and linked offences while also targeting prolific offenders.
“These types of offences are often opportunistic and sometimes the result of brazen criminals trying door handles or even climbing through open windows.
“With this in mind, credit must be given to residents themselves for making sure their homes are locked and secure.”
He said, earlier in his policing career, there was a time when, on average, 60 city homes were being broken into each month.
Since police started compiling month-by-month burglary report records in 1995, January that year saw the most reported break-ins, with 242 offences reported.
Supt Sanford said the latest statistics for Norwich were “extremely encouraging” and compared well with cities of a comparable size to Norwich. He said: “While I accept that figures do not show the full picture on local crime, they are a good indicator that levels are going in the right direction - downwards.
“Burglary is an intrusive crime which can have a devastating effect on victims, and I hope these recent figures go some way to reassuring local residents that the city remains a safe place to live.
“We think it is important to pass on these pleasing figures but at the same time we would like to warn against complacency from homeowners.
“I have no doubts that we could reduce burglaries even further if criminals were not given the easy opportunity presented by leaving premises insecure.”
Last November, a burglar behind admitted 19 break-ins across the city when he appeared in court.
Dennis Ely was jailed for two years, but the judge said he received a reduced sentence because he fully co-operated with police in helping to solve a string of other offences.
Ely, 35, admitted a burglary at Rocelin Close, off St Clement’s Hill, in Norwich, in which jewellery of sentimental value, cash and laptop were stolen while the owners were away on holiday.
When arrested, Ely not only helped police recover the jewellery he had sold on to a jeweller for £460, but also admitted 20 other offences, 18 of them other burglaries in Norwich.
Norwich Crown Court heard most of those burglaries would never have been solved had it not been for Ely admitting his crimes, but he wanted to wipe and slate clean.
Drug user Ely, of Paragon Place, off Earlham Road, Norwich, admitted most of the burglaries were carried out at unoccupied houses and he had committed the break-ins to get cash to feed his drug habit.
The Evening News recently reported how heavyweight Norwich boxer Sam Sexton caught a burglar who broke into his city cafe.
The fighter pinned down 36-year-old Lee Holden, from Heathgate, after he broke into Mr Sexton’s KO’s Sports Diner in Hall Road on February 7.
Holden was this month given an 18-month community order by district judge Peter Veits after he admitted the burglary and possessing cannabis.
• Do you have a crime story for the Evening News? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.