Wincanton raids 'do not detract from falling crime'
Police in Wincanton believe the net is tightening on local criminals – despite a sudden spate of burglaries.
In the last fortnight, Wincanton has seen two reported burglaries and one attempted burglary.
The neighbourhood beat team said tackling the “cowardly” crime is the main priority in 2013.
Neighbourhood beat manager, PC Andrew Brown, said: “We will be concentrating on reducing the number of dwelling burglaries and distraction burglaries this year.
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“These are truly appalling crimes which cause distress to the local community.”
On Thursday, January 17, police were called to a house on West Hill which had been raided by thieves. Four days later, a similar incident was recorded at a nearby property on West Hill.
Both of the houses are believed to have been vacant for some time.
On Friday, police were also called to an attempted burglary at Hopkins Court.
Vandals had smashed two CCTV cameras from the wall and tried to open a metal grid. They caused damage to a UPVC door – although no access was gained.
PC Brown admitted 2013 will inevitably pose challenges, but he believes Wincanton remains a safe place to live and work.
He said: “We are facing budgetary cuts and staffing issues, but I want to reassure residents that the police station will remain here in Wincanton.
“I lived on Mill Street in the town for more than ten years and my children grew up and went to school here.
“Over the years the town has nearly doubled in size.
“There are huge new housing estates on what were once greenfield sites.
“This has given rise to new challenges – but also brought huge benefits.
“We now have a diverse community with people from all over the world living in Wincanton. I believe the town remains a safe and enjoyable place to live, and we boast one of the lowest crime rates in the country.”
Neighbourhood beat sergeant Dean Hamilton said crime rates have plummeted district-wide since April 2012.
He said crime detection across Somerset East – an area stretching from Chard to Wincanton – has increased by more than 38 per cent since 2011.
Reported crime is also said to have decreased by more than 14 per cent in this period.
Sgt Hamilton said: “There is less crime and we are detecting more of it. This shows that we live not only in a beautiful area, but also a safe one.”
Only two residents attended a Police and Communities Together meeting, held at Churchfields last week, the first of its kind to be held in Wincanton in more than a year. PCSO Zoe Brooks said she hoped the low attendance suggested residents were happy with the way police were tackling crime.
Anyone with information about the recent burglaries should contact 101.