Theft and damage blamed for crime rise in Ottery


- Credit: Archant

Theft and criminal damage were some the reasons for a rise in reported crime in Ottery in December - with police recording 18 incidents, compared to 10 during the same period the previous year.

Ottery’s police sergeant says the town is a ‘lovely place to live’ and put the slight increase down to its growing population.

Sgt Pete Boorn, who has been in post since July, said: “We have seen a slight increase in criminal damage and theft-related offences.

“We must remember, however, that we have a growing population and that many of the criminal damage and theft offences relate to properties currently being built, or properties under development/refurbishment. I also think that people feel more confident in reporting crime to the police, but I am aware that we had some break-ins to vehicles that were not reported to the police.

“Personally, I think Ottery is a lovely place to live - crime is very low. I would ask, however, that if you are a victim of crime that you report it to the police, so that we can highlight any areas of concerns and then take some steps to deal with the problems. Quite simply, we can’t deal with your crimes if we don’t know about them.”

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In December, police reported three incidents at the recycling centre near The Bowd, where offenders had climbed over the gate and taken items during the evening.

Devon County Council, which owns the site, said: “In instances of theft like this, the police will always be called.

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“We would look to press charges against anyone caught breaking into council premises, causing criminal damage and stealing property.”

A number of thefts reported to police included two stolen bicycles, tools, a pair of parcels from a porch in West Hill and a motorbike, which was later recovered.

Thieves also smashed a car window and stole a bag from behind the driver’s seat. In a separate incident, a car aerial was taken.

Also included in the December tally were incidents of fraud, arson, an attempted burglary, and damage to vehicles in West Hill. Officers issued advice to parties involved in a racial incident, said Sgt Boorn.

The yearly total for the whole of Ottery parish stood at 197.

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