Ryedale is on course to enjoy its second lowest year for crime in its history – even though the police have so far seen a five per cent increase in recorded offences compared to the previous year.
In figures released by Inspector Andy Everitt, commander of Ryedale’s police force, there were 1,336 crimes committed between April 2013 and the end of February - an extra 59 crimes compared to the same period the year before.
“We are headed for the second lowest crime rating this year,” said Insp Everitt at last week’s meeting of the county council’s Ryedale Area Committee.
“We are 59 offences up, but that is still considerably lower than in previous years. What is key for me is we understand the reasons for these peaks and troughs.”
The main increase, he said, has been in house burglaries where there have been an extra 24 offences recorded.
Insp Everitt said the main reason behind the rise was a spate of burglaries (14 offences) in Norton in October.
“However,” he said, “the offender was caught and is now in prison. Over Christmas, a travelling team from outside of the Ryedale area committed eight burglaries over a 24-hour period in Hovingham, Helmsley and Kirkbymoorside. DNA has been recovered from one of the scenes and this series is being investigated by Malton CID.”
This year has seen burglaries from “non-dwellings” fall by 28 to 140 offences and also a six per cent fall in reported incidents of anti-social behaviour.
He added all other crime groups are at very similar levels to the record-setting 2012/13 performance.
“The key challenge at this current time is theft (up 44 offences) which has seen a specific increase over the autumn and winter months. Unsurprisingly, our hot spots are the isolated rural areas in north Ryedale above the towns of Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Pickering.”
He added: “We are focusing on the drug dealing fraternity at this current time and numerous arrests have been made against street dealers.”