Crime: Burglaries rise in Havering despite lockdown
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Police recorded 38% increase in break-ins in February
Havering police have brought in a new team of officers to patrol the borough at night, after burglaries began to rise.
Data released by the Home Office showed burglary was up in the borough in the first quarter of this year.
In January 2020, 194 burglaries were recorded in Havering, compared to 185 in January 2019 - a rise of just under five per cent.
In February 2020, 168 burglaries were recorded in Havering – a rise of almost 38pc, compared to February 2019.
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In March 2020 – the month that coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced – the number of burglaries dropped compared to January and February, with 142 break-ins reported.
However, that figure was still up 6pc on March 2019 and bucks a national trend of falling burgalries during the lockdown.
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Questioned about the rise, the Metropolitan Police Service said: “We saw a slight increase in January of nine offences compared to the previous year – but this followed a real combined effort to combat burglary, with big reductions in November and December of 80 offences in what is traditionally a time when burglary offences are on the rise, due to the shorter days and the Christmas period.”
Home Office statistics showed burglaries in November 2019 were down just over 10pc on the previous year, while December burglaries were down by more than 26pc.
A Met Police spokesman continued: “February and March 2020 saw an increase of 49 offences compared to the same time last year. This increase coincided with a number of suspects having been released from prison – but following a number of proactive operations and arrests, including some of the previously released suspects, we have again seen big reductions in April of 81 less burglaries.”
Home Office crime figures for Havering in April 2020 have not yet been published.
A spokesman said: “The Met is working hard to tackle burglary. We have a new team of officers, attached to the Havering neighbourhood team, who have been running regular night time operations, specifically looking to impact burglary.”
The Met said it had run several operations aimed at reducing burglaries in Havering.
One – Operation Hemlock – took place at the end of February and saw police raid 11 addresses in the borough.
Another – Operation Gambler – has been ongoing for almost a year and has seen 159 suspects arrested.
The force added that the Havering Safer Neighbourhood teams, partly funded by Havering Council, “are out every day and night, targeting burglars, robbers and car thieves, and are having some great success.”