Burglaries in Wales up 20% in year, despite falling crime

Burglaries increased by 20% across Wales last year, figures have shown.

But statistics compiled by the UK Crime Stats website show overall crime in Wales down 17% in December 2011 compared to a year earlier.

However, recorded cases of burglary increased from 1,483 to 1,781, BBC Wales' Dragon's Eye has found.

It also found that the police area covering Cardiff city centre and nearby Cathays recorded the seventh-highest number of crimes in England and Wales.

Dr Colin Rogers, from the University of Glamorgan's Centre for Police Studies, told BBC Wales' Dragon's Eye programme that the rise follows a steady drop in the number of burglaries over the previous decade.


"So they [police forces] will be disappointed there has been a rise in burglary rates at the moment and I'm sure they're going to take the appropriate action," he said.

Not all forces saw an increase. Burglaries fell 27% in Gwent Police, from 496 to 358.

Dyfed-Powys saw the biggest increase at 68%. The number of burglaries rose from 98 to 160.

in the South Wales Police area, burglaries went up from 563 to 834, an increase of 48%,

In the North Wales Police area they increased 31%, from 326 to 429.

Analysis by Dragon's Eye also found that the area defined by South Wales Police as Cathays - which includes that neighbourhood and Cardiff city centre - recorded the seventh highest number of crimes of anywhere in England and Wales last year.

The area saw 11,534 recorded crimes during 2011. Anti-social behaviour accounted for the largest number at 3,591.

South Wales Police said increases in crime could happen at the start of the university term when students arrive back in the city.

In a statement, the force said: "With a high concentration of retail, business, residential and licensed premises in Cathays and a vast student population, you would fully expect this area, particularly with the night-time economy, to have higher crime rates than other areas.

'Dense student population'

"Increases in crime such as burglaries can occur when university students arrive in Cathays for the start of the academic year for example.

"The dense population of students in Cathays in shared properties tends to create higher rates of burglary than other areas of the city because if a multi-occupancy house with five bedrooms is burgled then this is recorded as five burglaries rather than one.

"Unfortunately the arrival of students provides rich pickings for criminals who know that most students will have valuables such as laptops and iPods that can be easily carried and sold on."

It said local CID, neighbourhood policing team, response officers and student liaison officer were targeting known offenders and carrying out patrols.

"Cardiff remains a safe place to live, work and visit," it added.

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