Mixed message from falling burglary figures

Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say, is the adage attributed to William W Watt.

The question is, should that advice be applied to the latest statistics about burglaries across Horsforth, Otley and Aireborough?

The good news is that the statistics show the number of break-ins throughout the North West Outer Neighbouring Policing area have fallen by more than a quarter from 640 to around 470.

Police say this shows the area has relatively low rates compared to the rest of Leeds.

Inspector Richard Coldwell, who has 27 years of service, says crime rates were the lowest he could remember. He is not complacent and clearly states one burglary is too many.

He says much of the fall is due to putting an an awful lot of time and efforts into targeting burglars and burglary offences.

They have a list of actions they carry out after a burglary, including visiting surrounding houses and giving crime prevention advice.

Is is right to ask the question – isn’t that what the police should be doing anyway? It all sounds too good to be true – or does it?

That is the problem with a lot of these reports and the statistics that go with them. Burglaries are down to this low level and we should be very grateful for that – but what about other crimes and criminal activities?

In isolation these figures are brilliant and are really good news for the area and residents in the policing patch should feel more secure.

But in future it would be good to see comparative statistics for other crimes of theft in the areas.

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