Just over 3% of burglaries in Welwyn Hatfield led to a charge, Herts Police confirm

PUBLISHED: 14:06 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:06 15 February 2018

Burglaries increased by nearly 15 per cent during the nine-month period. Picture: Getty Images.

Burglaries increased by nearly 15 per cent during the nine-month period. Picture: Getty Images.

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Just over 3.5 per cent of burglaries in Welwyn Hatfield resulted in someone being charged during a nine-month period, police figures have revealed.

Herts Police confirmed that there were 509 break-ins between April 1, 2017 and January 9 this year, but only 18 resulted in a charge or summons.

During the same period the previous year there were 444 burglaries and 18 charges/summons (four per cent).

Welwyn Hatfield Chief Inspector Tannis Perks said: “Our response to a burglary may not immediately result in an arrest, but everything is done to ensure that, where possible, evidence is captured and we never give up on a case.”

She said the force utilises forensic toolkits to build a profile of offenders, which can lead to burglars eventually being linked to other break-ins.

Asked why she thought burglaries had increased locally by nearly 15 per cent, CI Perks told the WHT: “Most forces in England and Wales have seen the volumes of crime recorded year on year increase since 2014/15, largely as a result of improved crime recording practices and changes in the categorisation of crimes.”

A police spokeswoman confirmed that the way burglaries overall have been recorded has not changed since April 1, 2016.

In Welwyn Hatfield there were 7,141 crimes overall recorded during the nine months, with 12 per cent (851) leading to a charge/summons.

That compares to 6,863 during the same period in 2016/17, which resulted in 1,039 charges/summons – 15 per cent.

CI Perks pointed to several reasons for rising crime, including “changes in legislation and crime recording rules, and the challenges presented by cuts in funding/resources”.

She added that most forces nationwide have also seen a rise – largely due to improved recording rather than actual increases.

“Much of this increase has been in crimes of a violent nature, frequently without injury and often domestic abuse related, many of which are more challenging to detect because of evidential difficulties and/or as the victim is unable or unwilling to support police action,” CI Perks said.

She added that around 45 per cent of all recorded crimes cannot be ‘detected’, but said that Herts Constabulary ranks second within its group and 19th nationally for “detection performance”.

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