One-in-11 burglary victims in South Yorkshire get targeted again

DCI Steve Whittaker who heads up the burglary team at South Yorkshire Police in Sheffield
DCI Steve Whittaker who heads up the burglary team at South Yorkshire Police in Sheffield

Over 4,400 homes in South Yorkshire have been burgled more than once, according to new figures released today.

South Yorkshire Police has disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act that between January 2008 and December 2013 there were 46,847 burglaries reported in the county, with 4,443 homes targeted more than once during the six year period - nearly one-in-11 properties.

In Derbyshire 20,702 homes were burgled and of those 1,507 were targeted again.

The worst place in the country for repeat offences is Northamptonshire, with one-in-three burglary victims repeatedly targeted.

Detective Inspector Steve Whittaker, South Yorkshire Police’s crime manager for Sheffield, said tackling burglary is a force priority.

“Repeat burglaries will most often be carried out by the same offenders returning to the scenes of their crimes,” he said.

“Or an address may be repeatedly targeted if it is seen as an easy picking because it hasn’t got an alarm or it is easy to see that there is nobody at home or property is repeatedly left on view.”

Victim Support and security company ADT are working together on a ‘Take No More’ campaign to help tackle burglary.

The campaign aims to provide crime prevention schemes, increase awareness of support services and help victims get justice in court.

Gail Hunter, ADT’s spokeswoman, said: “When burglaries happen, we know it’s not just what they take, it’s what they leave behind.

“Burglary can be a terrible experience and, disappointingly, the figures show that there is a strong possibility of being burgled again. Our aim is to deter burglars and give people peace of mind.

“We want to work with communities in areas that have suffered high levels of burglary to offer crime prevention advice and reduce the risk of repeat victimisation.”

Karen Froggatt, Director of Victim Support said: “Thousands of homes are being blighted by burglaries.

“Getting burgled once can be devastating, but to be burgled multiple times is, understandably, extremely difficult for victims to recover from.

“Victims tell us that they suffer far more than lost possessions when their home is burgled, they lose their sense of safety in their own homes.

“Repeat victimisation can have a long lasting and widespread impact on people’s lives. That’s why it’s so important that victims of burglary can get practical help and have someone to talk to, when they do experience this awful crime.”

Over the six years covered by the new burglary figures there were 1,223,118 burglaries recorded to police forces across England and Wales, with 97,623 homes raided more than once.

Anyone with information about burglars operating in South Yorkshire should call 101.

Crimestoppers can also be contacted on 0800 555111.