Reports of crime down in St Albans, councillors are told

Burglars targeting unlocked homes in Hartford and Huntingdon. Picture: CAMBS POLICE

Burglars targeting unlocked homes in Hartford and Huntingdon. Picture: CAMBS POLICE - Credit: Archant

The number of house burglaries in St Albans has fallen by a third over the past 12 months, councillors have been told.

According to the latest figures, there were 345 house burglaries in the district between April 2019 and March 2020.

That is 30.6 per cent lower than the 497 break-ins reported during the previous 12 months.

The figures show there has also been a marked decrease in the number of thefts from motor vehicles – with 226 fewer offences across the district compared to last year.

There have also been reductions in offences of robbery, theft, public order crimes, drugs offences and offences against persons with injury.

However the figures do show there was an increase in burglaries at commercial and business premises in the district – which increased by 7.3 per cent, from 192 to 206.

There was reported to have been a ‘slight’ increase in the number of recorded offences relating to violence without injury, sexual offences and the possession of weapons.

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The number of domestic violence reports rose from 1,018 in 2018/19 to 1,169 in 2019/20, with the report suggesting this will rise further.

“The situation will only be exacerbated by the current restrictions on movement prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says the report.

The figures were reported to a meeting of St Albans City and District Council’s cabinet on Thursday, April 23.

St Albans is one of six Hertfordshire districts where there has been a overall reduction in crime over the past 12 months.

Figures also show that more crimes are being solved, with a slight increase in the ‘overall outcome rate’ – which now stands at 12.3 per cent.

Councillor Jacqui Taylor, portfolio holder for protection said: “It is very satisfying to see the overall level of crime in the district fall. This is in part due to the hard work of the police who have been supported by us and other organisations in the St Albans District Community Safety Partnership.

“However, we are not complacent and the partnership will continue to monitor crime trends and take action to combat any concerns.

“Over the last year, our team has helped the police in many ways. This has included operating the City Centre’s CCTV system and responding to incidents such as a spate of serious antisocial behaviour in one particular area of the city which was brought to a halt.”