Steep rise in burglaries and acts of criminal damage in Sidmouth

Sergeant Andy Squires is now splitting his time between Sidmouth and Seaton. Picture by Alex Walton.

Sergeant Andy Squires is now splitting his time between Sidmouth and Seaton. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6983-28-13AW - Credit: Archant

Crime figures show an annual increase of 13.8 per cent

A steep rise in burglaries and acts of criminal damage are largely to blame for an overall increase in Sidmouth’s crime figures.

Addressing the town council on Monday, Sergeant Andy Squires (pictured) reported a 13.8 per cent hike to date in 2016 – with 403 reported incidents recorded between January 1, and October 31. This was up from 354 for the same period last year.

He revealed a substantial increase in cases of criminal damage – which account for 104 of the overall crimes so far this year, compared to a previous total of 46 – and said a spate of graffiti at Stowford Rise added to the high figures.

The number of recorded burglaries from dwellings around the town went up from 17 to 30, while reports of burglars targeting non-dwellings decreased from 34 to 25.

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Incidents of shoplifting were also down, from 34 to 29, as were other reported incidents of theft which decreased from 54 to 37 year-on-year.

Reported acts of violence with injury rose from 46 to 50 and cases of violence without injury were also up from 50 to 57. Sgt Squires said the latter crime category now includes cases of harassment, online bullying and ‘sexting’ – explicit texting of a sexual nature.

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Sgt Squires added: “We can account for the increases and not all of those crimes are undetected - the figures include cases where culprits have been found and brought to justice.

“We are doing our best to establish any patterns there may be with a view to directing patrols. We would very much welcome people reporting crimes. We need to know to be able to get an accurate picture of where crime is occurring and what crime is occurring. Even if the perception is nothing can be done at that time, it helps to build a picture if where we need to be directing patrols.”

To report a non-urgent crime, call police by dialling 101.

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