Burglaries down 53 per cent in Hester's Way and Whaddon
BURGLARIES have been cut by more than 50 per cent in a notorious crime hotspot following a police crackdown on teenage criminals.
The Cheltenham North area, which includes Hester's Way and Whaddon, has seen a 53 per cent reduction in burglaries of dwellings.
Overall crime in the area is down by 25 per cent, which is the best in the county, with 139 crimes fewer from April 1 to October 30 this year than the same period the previous year.
There were 223 less burglaries of dwellings from April 1 to October 30 than the same period last year.
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In October last year alone there were 110 burglaries of dwellings, whereas this October there have only been 36.
Cheltenham North police chief Inspector Jon Roberts says the success is down to "concentrating on the criminals rather than the crimes".
He said: "Up to seven months ago, we were per head having more dwelling burglaries than anywhere in the country. We were getting absolutely hammered.
"They were all kids from the local area, and they were coming out of school and before they went home they went out and broke into houses.
"There was competition between some of the Hester's Way and Whaddon groups over who could break into the most houses and steal the nicest car.
"We knew who the kids involved were, so we focused our efforts on them. For example, we would knock on their doors late at night to check they were home.
"We have locked most of them up now."
He added: "We are really pleased with the crime figures. Historically we are one of the areas where officers do not want to go and work, but now the morale here is fantastic and we are really proud of what we are doing."
Insp Roberts says the reduction in crime can also be attributed to The Aston Project, which was set up in memory of the late PC Lynn Aston and provides youngsters with work placements and fun activities.
Crime Statistics for Gloucestershire for April 1 to October 30, compared to the same period last year:
- Cheltenham North: 25 per cent overall crime reduction; dwellings burglaries down 53 per cent.
- Dursley and District: 24 per cent overall crime reduction; dwellings burglaries down 17 per cent.
- Cheltenham South: 21 per cent overall crime reduction; dwellings burglaries down 63 per cent.
- Gloucester City: 17 per cent overall crime reduction; dwellings burglaries down four per cent.
- Gloucester District: overall crime reduction of 17 per cent; dwelling burglaries down four per cent.
- Tewkesbury and District: 15 per cent overall crime reduction; dwelling burglaries down 11 per cent.
- Cotswolds: 12 per cent overall reduction; dwelling burglaries down 13 per cent.
- Forest of Dean: 0.3 per cent overall reduction; dwelling burglaries rise five per cent.
- Stroud and District: Three per cent overall increase; dwelling burglaries rise two per cent.