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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Police boast drop in burglaries
Burglar generic
The reduction has meant 120 less homes were broken into
Police in Blaenau Gwent are claiming the highest reduction in house burglaries of any police force area in England and Wales.

Figures out on Thursday revealed a 32% drop in break-ins compared to the year ending in April in 2003.

There was also a 23% fall in the number of burglaries at businesses.

Police and councillors say it is due to the support of a community safety partnership.

Gwent Police also said its detection rate for house burglaries in Blaenau Gwent was 60% for the year - also the best in England or Wales.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Williams said: "Our tremendous success is due to working with our partners to provide better intelligence, tougher enforcement and more effective prevention."

These are fantastic results and they provide very real benefits for our communities
Councillor Steve Thomas

He said the figures showed that the 'Safer Blaenau Gwent' community partnership with Blaenau Gwent Council county borough had worked and had meant the police had been "rewarded with real decreases in crime levels".

Det Chief Insp Williams added: "We have also managed to reduce the incidents of violence against the person by nearly 16% this year and vehicle crime, which had been a real problem in Blaenau Gwent, is down by nearly 5%."

Back in 2001, Home Office figures showed Blaenau Gwent was one the most violent areas in the UK outside London, with more than 30 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

Overall crime has reduced by 13.5% and the detection rate in Blaenau Gwent of nearly 54% is the second-highest in England and Wales

Ebbw Vale
Blaenau Gwent was a 'hot spot' for violent crime in 2001

Councillor Steve Thomas, deputy community safety champion for Blaenau Gwent council, said the results meant 120 fewer homes were broken into.

"These are fantastic results and they provide very real benefits for our communities," he said.

The community safety partnership has included providing locks and external security lighting at homes of burglary victims, as well as the elderly and vulnerable.

It has also contributed more than 20,000 to neighbourhood watch groups and crime prevention panels across the county.

Wales 'safer' than England
17 Jul 03  |  Wales
Violent crime on the rise
19 Jul 01  |  UK

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