'Prevention' halves Newport burglary figures - police
10:02am Monday 4th March 2013 in News
BURGLARY figures in Newport are down by more than half since 2009.
New figures released by Gwent Police show an astonishing 56.7 per cent drop in the number of burglaries happening in the city compared to four years ago.
From April 2009 to March 2010, there were 1,334 reported burglaries in the city. In 2010/11, that figure dropped to 1,190, and in 2011/12, it dropped to 753.
From April 2012 to March 2013, there were just 578 burglaries – a drop over the years of 56.7 per cent.
DI Justin O’Keefe believes the decrease is down to the enforcement of preventative measures.
He said: “Burglary is one of the worst crimes as if affects people the most. If a person wakes up and realises there is someone in their house, it can be one of the most unnerving and scary experiences in their life.
“We were unlucky four years ago in that we had a peak of these type of crimes.
Since then, we have prioritised the prevention of this crime.” Police in Newport have launched new measures, including a multiagency approach to ensure repeat offenders or those likely to offend because of drug or alcohol addictions have better access to rehabilitation programmes.
DI O’Keefe said: “Newport has a very good integrated management team responsible for the care and management of prolific offenders.
“A lot of substance abuse issues are the cause of crime and it was often people who did not have enough support who were committing these crimes. Now we are looking to engage with those people so they will engage with us.”
Police are also going into primary schools to speak to young children about how burglaries affect the victims and their families.
“We have also set up a number of ‘trap houses’ and arrested those people who have broken into these buildings and given them substantial custodial sentences.
“Our approach is proactive rather than reactive. We are identifying the reason why people offend.
“The intelligence we gain from the public through schemes like OWL also helps us to identify potential offenders and reduce crime.”