25/06/2003

Government claims victory in reducing burglaries

The Home Office claimed today that a £26 million initiative has cut burglary in crime hotspots by a fifth over the last three years.

The evaluation of the Home Office's 'Reducing Burglary Initiative', which, brought 63 projects around the country to fruition, has noted a reduction in the number of burglaries.

Home Office Minister Hazel Blears announced the findings of the reports today as she addressed crime reduction workers at a conference in Belfast.

Ms Blears said: "Burglary is a serious crime and the effect on victims can be traumatic. With the help of the Reducing Burglary Initiative, communities across the country have benefited from a 20 per cent drop in burglary - meaning fewer victims.

“Burglary rates in communities around the country have been turned around thanks to funding from the initiative and the joined up approach between police and the local communities.

She added: "Anti-burglary strategies such as property marking, improving fencing and awareness campaigns have had a tremendous impact on burglary rates.

“The evaluation published today will help more areas cut burglary by sharing methods that have had impressive results and made a real difference to people's lives”.

According to the report, burglary has fallen by 41% since 1997 and the chances of being a victim of crime are at the lowest in 20 years.

Ms Blear said that Home Office was continuing its work to bring crime down even further.

She concluded: ”We have record police officers on our streets and are reforming the criminal justice system to bring greater numbers of offenders to justice.

“We have also introduced a White Paper and Bill to tackle Anti-Social Behaviour, the low-level crime and thuggery that makes life a misery for so many in our communities".

(MM)

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