From: Mark Burns Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, George Street, Wakefield.
BURGLARY is a real concern for communities across West Yorkshire. The invasion of people’s personal space and the theft of personal and irreplaceable belongings makes people feel vulnerable and frightened in their own homes.
I pledged in my Police and Crime Plan to bring the risk of burglary down and am pleased to say this has happened with outstanding results as reported, with Leeds seeing a drop from more than 16,000 incidences in 2003 to 4,800 last year. There are many reasons for this.
One of them is crime prevention, which is at the forefront of efforts to reduce the opportunity for acquisitive crime such as burglary and car crime and this is imperative to ensure people are safer and feel safer.
Another is the use of real-time investigators using intelligence databases to track suspected burglars which has contributed to the drop, as has a more visible presence of officers on the streets, as reported last week.
I have also ring-fenced funding for PCSOs because I recognise, with partners, the importance of their role and have pledged to protect frontline policing in the wake of sustained, severe government cuts.
People should expect the police to be there when they need them, expect a proper response and expect measures to be put in place to prevent further crimes being committed.
I do believe we are striking the right balance between office-based investigations and having a visible presence of officers, with mobile technology, on the streets and want to reassure the public our work does not end here.
Domestic burglary is dropping but more needs to be done and, along with West Yorkshire Police and partners, I will continue to work hard on behalf of communities to reduce this crime that blights lives and brings untold misery to victims.