AN EMBARRASSED Hucknall man staged a hoax burglary at his home in an effort to cover up looking at Internet pornography, local police have revealed.
The town’s police chief, Insp Nick Butler, reported the fraud in a bid to highlight the increasing problem of residents faking burglaries for a vast array of reasons.
Speaking at a meeting of Hucknall Partnership Group, Insp Butler said that throughout September and parts of November, up to 50% of burglary calls received by his officers turned out to be false.
He said: “We know that times are tough and many of the fake burglaries are being reported for financial gain.
“But there is no excuse for committing a criminal offence.
“Anyone tempted by this course of action should be on notice that they will be found out and could be brought before the courts.
“This sort of offence is very dangerous as investigating a false burglary claim takes up a lot of police resources. It ultimately means that officers are not tackling genuine crime that affects people’s day-to-day lives.”
In the case of the pornography surfer, the man, who is in his 20s, said he had found his laptop computer and an empty whisky bottle on his driveway. He said a burglar had left the items there at the home the man shared with his parents.
But Insp Butler said that on investigating the case, it turned out the fraudster had been looking at risque websites and had registered his credit-card details with a company in America.
The man was given a fine and warned by the police.
Said Insp Butler: “He thought someone would be coming to lock him up so he staged the burglary.”
Earlier this year, the Dispatch featured the increasing temptation to falsify burglaries to cover up other crimes and dupe insurance companies.
One Hucknall man was caught after staging a break-in to cover up the fact his uninsured friend had borrowed his car and smashed it up on Hucknall bypass.
Despite the burglary problems, figures in Hucknall show that officers are making headway on this type of crime which, under the heading ‘serious acquisitive’, which includes burglary, is down 26% this year compared with last year.
In fact, crime overall in Hucknall is still on the decline — a further 7.5% this year — and has plummeted to its lowest levels in 30 years since current records began.
The one area of concern is theft, with shops and people’s gardens becoming increasingly targeted.
Hucknall police are working with business and residents in a bid to stamp out the problem.