Vehicle crime is continuing to rise in Hartlepool after it was revealed six vehicle thefts a day were taking place in the town.
Figures released by the Safer Hartlepool Partnership show that, between July and September this year, there were 268 vehicle crimes – a rise of 77% from the same period last year.
There are multiple offenders operating right across the town using different methodsRachel Parker
Almost two-thirds of those offences were thefts from vehicles, a meeting of the partnership heard.
It was also revealed that recorded crime overall in the town has gone up by 12% in the last year, from 2,321 cases between July and September in 2016, to 2,598 in the same period this year.
Addressing a Safer Hartlepool Partnership meeting, Rachel Parker, Hartlepool Borough Council’s community safety research officer, said that the ‘trend’ of increased thefts from vehicles had continued since September.
She said: “Vehicle crime, particularly theft from a motor vehicle, is occuring right across Hartlepool.
“Unfortunately, this crime trend is continuing into quarter three.
“There is now an average of more than six theft from motor vehicles cases taking place every day across the town.
“There are multiple offenders operating right across the town using different methods.
“It’s very much a town-wide issue and as a partnership it is important we continue to deliver the message to remind people of the importance of securing their vehicles, removing valuables and reporting any suspicious activity in their area.”
The Mail revealed in October that vehicle crime had doubled in Hartlepool in the space of a year, with 1,094 offences committed between last October and September of this year, compared to 583 incidents for the same period 12 months earlier.
A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “It is really important to help prevent thefts from vehicles that people double check that they are kept secure and that valuables are kept out of sight.
“Even loose change that is left in a vehicle can tempt a thief into stealing.
“Always keep valuables locked in the boot or take them out of the vehicle.”
The figures discussed by the Safer Hartlepool Partnership also showed that domestic burglary cases had slightly risen between July and September, compared to the same period last year, from 168 cases to 177.
Shoplifting went up from 314 incidents to 357 – a 14% increase – while there was a 19% rise in violent crime which did not result in injuries.
The number of anti-social behaviour incidents reported to police in the same period, though, dropped.
There were 2,138 such cases reported between July and September 2016, compared to 1,967 between those months this year – a drop of 8%.