Rise in car crime a ‘significant challenge’

Police warn of rising complacency among residents.

CAR crime and household burglary is on the rise in North and West Devon, according to latest police figures.

Despite falling during the last five years, the number of thefts of or from vehicles and household break-ins, increased by 19 per cent compared with the number of incidents the previous year.

North and West Devon chief inspector Toby Davies said this type of “acquisitive crime” presented a “significant challenge”.

“The trend is of concern and we are working hard to target likely offenders,” he said.

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“I am keen to promote the message around crime prevention and security, something I would suggest has lapsed over the last few years considering the amount of insecure break-ins we experience.

“I do sense a rising complacency among some residents, perhaps down to our relatively low crime rates, and am keen to reverse this.”

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Despite this Ch Insp Davies said that more than a third of reported crimes had resulted in a “positive” action taken against an offender (37.4 per cent), the second highest in the force area.

He said: “We have encouraged the use of restorative justice whereby the victim agrees to some form of reparation that the offender must then complete – for example clean graffiti or attend an alcohol awareness course.

“This has significantly reduced re-offending rates and levels of bureaucracy within the criminal justice system and has also been very well received by victims.”

Ch Insp Davies said that victim satisfaction with police remained high (82 per cent) and that those subjected to anti-social behaviour were the highest in the force.

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