Bristol spate of burglaries 'ignored by police'

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Image caption The number of Avon and Somerset police officers has fallen by 700 due to government cuts

Police are failing to take action over a spate of "brazen" burglaries in Bristol, a group of residents claim.

Two streets in Henleaze have seen several break-ins to sheds, garages or houses during the day, with burglars using crowbars to gain entry.

Burglary victim Rob Knight said: "We are being hammered by a mixture of different types of burglars."

Avon and Somerset Police says it no longer had burglary squads after losing 700 officers due to funding cuts.

'Broad daylight'

The force said it was trying to meet other demands such as child sexual exploitation, modern slavery, human trafficking, drugs crime and anti-social behaviour.

A spokesman said it had neighbourhood teams in place to focus on crime and it worked with Probation Services to manage and target "prolific offenders".

A total of 13,878 burglaries were reported in 2011, which fell to 10,380 in 2013 but it has since increased year on year.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Walliscote Road in Henleaze has seen a spate of burglaries

From 2013, the number of solved cases has declined, and police are identifying fewer suspects.

Mr Knight's pick-up was stolen after thieves broke into his house and took the keys while he was on holiday.

"They're quite brazen really, doing it in the middle of the day in broad daylight, they're not even doing it at night-time," he said.

Residents in the Walliscote Avenue and Walliscote Road area have written a joint letter to Avon and Somerset Police Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens asking for action.

They said: "You have had ample opportunity to investigate these crimes properly, link them together where appropriate, and follow up leads where possible.

"The fact is that you have done none of these things, at least as far as we can tell."

Avon and Somerset's Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens said: "There are many reasons why some burglaries are not fully resolved including the nature of the crime itself, or a lack of investigative opportunity with no evidence, witnesses or further lines of enquiry.

"If you have been a victim of burglary in Avon and Somerset I do not want you to be deterred in reporting this crime in the future."

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