Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 14:55 UK

UK's burglary 'hotspots' revealed

Burglar breaking into a house
Last week's crackdown in Greater Manchester resulted in 250 arrests

A league table of burglary "hotspots" in England and Wales has revealed a huge disparity between areas at risk.

Manchester topped the list with 35 domestic burglaries per 1,000 homes last year - a total of 7,167 - followed by parts of Nottingham and Reading.

Rural Teesdale in Co Durham had the lowest rate with a total in 2008 of just 14, or 1.2 for every 1,000 homes.

The Tories say some areas have victims in "almost every street" but ministers say burglaries have halved since 1997.

Drug addiction

There has been a 1% increase in house burglaries, the first rise for six years, according to annual crime figures released this month.

Police figures showed there were 284,445 house break-ins in the 2008/9 financial year - which means one victim every two minutes.

Manchester - 35 per 1,000 homes (7,167 total)
Nottingham - 33 per 1,000 homes (4,367 total)
Reading - 30 per 1,000 homes (1,769 total)
Haringey, London - 30 per 1,000 homes (2,870)
Leeds - 28 per 1,000 homes (9,248)
Bradford - 27 per 1,000 homes (5,236 total)
Luton - 27 per 1,000 homes (2,020 total)
Enfield - 26 per 1,000 homes (3,049 total)
Slough - 26 per 1,000 homes (1,207 total)
Bristol - 26 per 1,000 homes (4,706 total)

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling, whose party uncovered the latest league table, said: "This increase in burglaries is a big problem, and it's not just down to the recession.

"The jump in drug taking announced last week is also a big factor - since a large proportion of burglaries result from people trying to get money to feed a drug addiction.

"We desperately need real action to get police away from filling in forms at their desk in police stations and out on to the beat tackling the problem."

But Home Office minister Alan Campbell pointed out that burglary had more than halved in the last 12 years with levels remaining flat despite the recession.

He said: "We are not complacent however and we want to do more, which is why this week we announced £5m from the Safer Homes Fund to protect people in the most vulnerable communities.

"Operation Vigilance allows the police to target more prolific offenders, including burglars, and the Drug Interventions Programme is proving increasingly successful at breaking the link between drug taking and acquisitive crime."

Under the Safer Homes Fund, security is to be beefed up in more than 45,000 homes with the elderly and lowest paid getting new window and door locks.

Last week Greater Manchester Police launched Operation Storm - a crackdown on burglary involving 600 officers.

It resulted in 250 arrests, 150 warrants executed and half a million pounds worth of property recovered.

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