When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Burnley is East Lancashire's top car crime hotspot
BURNLEY has the worst car crime rate in Lancashire, new figures reveal.
And the town reported more offences than big cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Cardiff.
Figures showed there were 317 incidents of vehicle theft, criminal damage and break-ins out of every 10,000 cars registered over a 12-month period.
Citroen was the most targeted make of car followed by Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi.
It is believed car criminals targeted older commercial vehicles and vans as they did not have modern security features.
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said vehicle crime was out of hand.
He said: “I thought the police had got on top of it, but it seems not.
“Police do not think of such incidents as a major crime, which is disappointing.
“I get a lot of people complaining and we have got to sort it out. It has just got out of hand.”
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, a victim of car crime three times in the past three years, has had two tyres slashed at his Colne home, his car keys stolen in Barnoldswick and a satnav stolen from the glove compartment of his car.
He said: “This type of crime is hugely inconvenient, but also distressing.
“It is very costly because when many people have items stolen from their car it is not enough to claim on their insurance.
“Quite often these crimes go unreported and people have to pay for them out of their own pockets.”
And Burnley Council leader Julie Cooper said police cuts were having an effect.
She said: “It is shocking. There are £73.5million in savings required by Lancashire Constabulary and that is going to have an impact.
“If the message gets out that there are fewer police officers on the streets, it leads to people thinking they can get away with it.
“It also has a negative impact on insurance costs. Car crime is very distressing.
“I have had elderly car owners who struggle to keep a car on the road financially come to me when they have things like wing mirrors broken and cars scratched.”
The findings come from Freedom of Information figures obtained by consumer website HonestJohn.co.uk They showed the highest level of vehicle crime in Lancashire was in the BB11 postcode between October 2011 and September 2012.
The BB2 postcode for Blackburn was third in the region with 217 out of every 10,000 and in Darwen the figure was 185.
The safest areas were BB18 for Kelbrook and BB7 in the Ribble Valley.
They had 49 car-related crimes each during the 12 months.
Vehicles least likely to be targeted include the Lexus, Jaguar and Chevrolet.
Lancashire Police said car crime was falling, with 10 people receiving prison sentences for these such crimes in the past few weeks.
Daniel Harrison, Editor of HonestJohn.co.uk, said: “What we find with Burnley and parts of East Lancashire is that they are very close to Manchester and Bradford, which are the two worst areas in the UK for car crime.
“It is possible offenders are coming from those places to commit crime.
“We also know that there is a high proportion of older cars and commercial vehicles like vans and pick-ups than elsewhere in the country.
“About 80 to 85 per cent of all the crimes committed are criminal damage and leaving valuables on show gives thieves a golden opportunity.”
Insp Viki Crorken of Burnley Police said: “There continues to be a reduction in the amount of vehicle crime in the Burnley and Padiham areas, with over 100 fewer victims since 2010 and with over half of all vehicle crime being detected in 2012.
“We remain dedicated to preventing and detecting these crimes.”
Comments are closed on this article.