Police force defends burglary figures

A POLICE force has defended its apparently poor performance in tackling distraction burglaries.

A national study of distraction burglaries showed Durham Police failed to solve any of the 21 complaints it received about distraction break-ins, which often involve bogus callers posing as officials.

But the force says it has had “considerable success in recent years” through a multi-force approach involving all three North-East constabularies.

Operation Bombay involves the Durham, Cleveland and Northumbria forces working on distraction burglaries, which police say is a “cross-border crime”, where criminals move from one area to the next, making detection difficult.

Durham’s figures, featured in the national study Operation Liberal, are in contrast to Cleveland Police’s detection rate of 27 per cent, with six successful prosecutions from 22 reports.

Northumbria Police had the highest detection rate in the country, with 49 per cent solved after 22 cases were solved out of 45 reported.

A Durham Police spokesman said: “The regional Operation Bombay team have had considerable success in the last couple of years targeting distraction burglaries and doorstep crime across the three North-East police forces.

“It remains a crime which can be difficult to detect, as the national figures suggest.

“But we believe significant inroads are being made and we would hope the number of offences will continue to fall.”

The figures relate to the period from April last year to March this year.