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Area's crime breakdown revealed
CRIME dipped in Ilminster in August compared to the month before but increased slightly in Chard, figures show.
The latest statistics on police.uk reveal 35 crimes were recorded within a half mile radius of Ilminster during August – down six from July.
Crimes involving anti-social behaviour, drugs and theft were down by two each. Violent crime and sexual offences were down by one from five to four.
One of these crimes occurred in the Ditton Street area and the offender was given a caution.
In Chard, 130 crimes were reported in August, two more than July.
Offences of either criminal damage or arson saw the biggest increase from 10 to 16. Thirteen cases of shoplifting were reported in July and 12 in August.
Many of these cases are still being investigated but three offenders were given community sentences and one was sent to prison.
Police have recently seen an increase in thefts and break-ins due to small gangs targeting both towns.
Sgt Richard Barnett said: “In the last couple of weeks we have had an increase in theft from motor vehicles and non-dwelling break-ins.
“This happens in peaks and troughs where you have a group of people who are active. There has been a small increase but we have arrested and charged people. We also had a group from another town that was targeting Ilminster over the summer.
“We would ask that people report the crime at the time. If you think it is suspicious, it probably is, so don’t wait to dial 999.
“We are also trying to educate people to lock up their outbuildings because the majority of these thefts are simple thefts with very little effort made.”
Sgt Barnett added that this month has also seen an increase in thefts from supermarkets.
He said: “With the economy the way it is, we have had an increase in thefts from shops by people who are not criminals but are stealing, quite frankly, to eat. People have also been driving off without paying for petrol.”
Crime can be reported by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555111.
For non-urgent crimes and incidents people can use www.avonandsomerset.police.uk
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