The economic downturn could have been an underlying reason for a hike in crime in Hucknall, the town’s police Chief Inspector Nick Butler, has claimed.
He told a meeting of Hucknall Partnership Group that after a record drop in crime for the town in the last two years, the latest figures showed an increase of 60 offences, compared with 2012.
“We have seen rises for house burglary and shoplifting,” said Insp Butler. “A main reason for such offences up to now has been to feed a drug habit.
“But we are now coming across previously law-abiding people turning to crime to help with day-to-day living.
“We point them in the way of agencies who can help and it is up to them whether they take the advice available. If the offending persists, action against them can include being banned from shops.”
Insp Butler pointed out that about 70 per cent of burglaries in Hucknall were committed by people who travelled to the town from Nottingham.
He stressed the importance of people making sure their homes and cars were secure. Some offenders walked down a street and kept trying car doors until they found one that was unlocked, possibly with handbags, laptops or satellite navigation equipment in the vehicle, he added.
“It is easily done not to take precautions if you have just got home from work or picked up the children from school,” said Insp Butler.
“But the last thing at night before you go to bed, you should make sure your doors are locked, windows closed and nothing is left lying in your car. You should also make sure your car keys are hidden from view.”
Insp Butler went on to say that in promoting road safety, police had adopted a Fatal Four operation. This was based on the view that the main causes for deaths on the road were not wearing seat belts, drink or drugs, speeding and the use of mobile phones while driving.
He said the fight against crime in Hucknall had been boosted by its current CCTV camera system, which was of a very high quality.
Coun John Wilmott, of Hucknall, the deputy leader of Ashfield District Council, said: “We have put a lot of money into making people’s lives safer. Almost 10 per cent of our total budget is used for this purpose.”