Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Leeds targets burglary

Work to reduce crime across the city is continuing as the police and council work towards delivering a reduction in the number of burglaries across the city.

At a meeting of the council’s executive board on Wednesday, members will be asked to provide ongoing support to the multi-agency approach, commit to targeting activity to areas of concern for 2012/13, and reduce burglary offences.

Burglary numbers in Leeds have reduced over the last few years but more needs to be done to get the city closer to the national average, with the overall aim of the work to make the residents of Leeds safe and feel safer in their homes.

Safer Leeds, the city’s crime fighting partnership, has set ambitious targets to sustain improvements on the 2010/11 successes, with a move to bringing offence levels below the previous best performance, and then the challenge will be to reduce burglary rates to a level closer to the national average.

Moving forward, five projects have been identified to focus on. Alongside funding from the council and other partners, this will bring in excess of £2m of additional resources before March 2013.

The projects include the Burglary Taskforce which will work across Leeds to deliver practical measures to help reduce domestic burglary, as well as targeted work with young offenders and their families. This will link to the West Yorkshire Probation Service ‘Desistance Project’ which will work with young offenders as they get older. Further targeted work will take place in priority wards across the city with over 400 offences in the previous year, and a student focussed campaign known as the ‘Knowledge’ project will address specific victimisation of students.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for community safety and chair of the Safer Leeds board, said:
“We have invested a large amount of strategic thinking and money in the burglary reduction partnership to ensure that we can work towards reducing burglary numbers across the city.

“Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police along with other partners have made the issue of reducing burglary a key priority for the city. We are committed to targeting burglars and disrupting their activities. Already we have had a number of successful operations which has shown in the numbers of offences falling since the start of the Burglary Reduction programme in September 2011. In the six months to the end of February 2012, the provisional indication is that offences have fallen by 17% when compared to the previous six months, and a third against the same period in 2010/11. If the level of performance continues through March, we are projecting that Leeds will improve on its previous lowest number of recorded offences (7670 in 2005/06).

"We need to continue this positive work and drive down numbers of burglary across Leeds, and I believe these five projects are a good start to the process.”

Chief Superintendent Dave Oldroyd, Divisional Commander for North West Leeds and the lead officer for the district on burglary, said
“Although it is reassuring that our work alongside the council and other partners has brought about a significant drop in the number of burglaries across the city, we are acutely aware of the need to keep doing all we can to cut the number of offences even further.

“The recent figures clearly show that the approach we have been taking is working and this additional funding from the local authority will allow us to maintain a firm focus on cutting the city’s burglary rate.”


Notes to editors:

In June 2011, Leeds City Council’s executive board approved expenditure of over £1.3million up until March 2012 from the Community Safety fund to support the delivery of burglary prevention and detection across the city carried out by Safer Leeds.


Ends

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk