York & North Yorkshire

Police tackle 'crime tourists' targeting Harrogate

The number of burglaries committed by visiting criminals in North Yorkshire is being driven down by police action, says the force.

The number of raids in Harrogate in the six months to October was up by 58% compared with the previous year.

Police said thieves from South and West Yorkshire had been targeting specific houses.

North Yorkshire police said they were monitoring main routes and sharing information with other forces.

Stolen keys

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Madgwick of North Yorkshire Police said: "We had a major problem in the spring and summer of last year where we saw those type of burglaries reaching 25 or 28 a month across the county.

"Specifically those ones where houses are broken into and cars stolen."

He said burglars would often take car keys from the house and then steal the vehicle, which could be sold on.

ACC Madgwick said: "We've cut it dramatically.

"In January to date we've had two or three. We've been working with our colleagues in West Yorkshire, and we've had multiple days of arrests focusing on crime groups.

"We haven't dismantled the group completely, but we've certainly made it a lot more difficult for them to operate in."

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