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COMMENT: Fly in the ointment for police
9:30am Thursday 12th April 2012 in Editorial Comment
SUCH a stark increase in burglaries across Oxford is a worry, especially when police have managed to continue to cut almost every other type of crime.
Every day of the past year there were at least two break-ins across the city, a rise of almost a third on the previous year.
Increases in burglary have long been forecast because of the continuing economic hard times.
Yet Chris Sharp, the new commander for Oxford police, disputes this is the reason.
Officers have been carrying out tests and almost all the burglary suspects picked up are demonstrating signs of class A drug use. The spate of burglaries where one room is targeted for a quick in and out further support the theory it is funding drug habits rather than financial hardship that is at the root of this problem.
A new team is targeting this drug element, presumably based upon operations being used in other areas of Thames Valley close on a decade ago. Mr Sharp says early signs show a stemming of the tide.
The police, however, can be like the boy with his fingers in the dyke – plugging several holes only for others to start to gush.
Overall, it has to be stressed that our city force is doing well with an overall cut in crime.
So we should be patient to allow it time to get on top of the burglars.