Success in police clamp down shown in Sidmouth crime stats

Sergeant Andy Squires of the Sidmouth neighbourhood police team. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 698

Sergeant Andy Squires of the Sidmouth neighbourhood police team. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6983-28-13AW - Credit: Archant

A clamp-down on vehicle offences has been reflected in Sidmouth’s latest crime statistics.

Speaking at the latest Sidmouth Town Council meeting, Sergeant Andy Squires told councillors that there were no recorded vehicle crimes in the town in October – compared with seven in October last year.

Sgt Squires said: “That [the number of vehicle offences] is in line with the hard work me and my team have put into it which is paying off in dividends at the moment and long may that continue.”

According to police figures, there were also no crimes last month involving the possession of weapons.

But there were seven ‘other’ thefts; six shopliftings; three violence with injury crimes; 11 harassments and violence without injury offences; one dwelling and two non-dwelling burglaries; eight criminal damages; seven public order offences; and one possession of drugs.

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In October last year, a total of 43 crimes were recorded compared to 46 in October this year. The total number of incidents was down from 145 to 140.

Sgt Squires said he was initially alarmed by the number of ‘other’ thefts in the town, which had risen from one in October, 2016 to seven last month.

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He said: “There is not any great pattern – they mainly consist of purses and handbags being left on park benches on two occasions, bicycle thefts and drive-offs from fuel stations.”

He said the number of shopliftings had gone up from three to six, but he had been asked by shops in the town to breathe a bit of life into the existing Shop Watch system, which he said would be doing (see page 17).

He said that he had looked at the number of shoplifting offences that had taken place over the last year and found there had been an average of around three a month, although he thought there were probably a lot more that had not been reported.

Sgt Squires said overall he and his team were very positive about the statistics.

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