Police say they are cracking down after burglaries in Yeovil increased threefold from the same time last year.
Although overall crime levels across the policing district of east Somerset have fallen this year, burglaries from homes and businesses are on the rise, according to Chief Superintendent Nikki Watson.
There were 17 burglaries of homes in the Yeovil area during September.
In the same month last year there were just five burglaries around the town. The monthly average in 2011 was 13.
Mrs Watson, who is district commander for Somerset East – an area stretching from Frome to Chard – last week wrote to local councillors with a summary of recent police efforts to combat crime.
She said 48 more burglaries of homes and garages have been recorded in Somerset East since April than during the same six month period last year.
The number of reported non-dwelling burglaries in the district – such as from business premises – has seen an increase of 24 from the same period last year.
Speaking to the Western Gazette, Mrs Watson said: “The numbers are still low but there has been a slight increase [in dwelling burglaries] from last year.
“There are a small number of criminals responsible and we are working really hard to bring them to justice.
“It’s still the case that with most burglaries, burglars get in through an insecure door. I would always relay the message for people to secure their property and not leave things on show.”
Mrs Watson praised savvy residents and motorists for following crime reduction advice which she believes has helped to reduce overall crime levels in the district.
Theft from motor vehicles during the last six months was down 16 per cent and anti-social behaviour has reduced by 2.5 per cent.
Shoplifting offences are down 22 per cent and there are 20 per cent fewer criminal damage offences from last year, a police spokeswoman said.
Mrs Watson said working with local communities was vital in bringing offenders to justice.
She said: “I think it’s about building a rapport with the local communities. We can’t police without the contribution and help of the public.
“The work our neighbourhood teams – the beat managers and PCSOs – do is important. The main thing members of the public tell us about is how important visibility is to them so the beat teams work really hard to make sure every member of the community knows who they are.”
Last week, police said officers had arrested three men on suspicion of burglary. Two men from Yeovil were later charged in connection with separate burglaries in Hillgrove Avenue and Roping Path.