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What it's like to live in the most burgled area of Lancashire; Over 200 burglaries were recorded last year in Talbot, Blackpool.

Byline: Olivia Baron

A district in Blackpool has been named for having alarmingly high burglary figures.

Data from Police UK shows that Talbot, in Blackpool, has the highest rates of burglary compared to any other neighbourhoodin Lancashire- with 278 burglaries taking place in 2018.

It means there were 43 burglaries for every 1,000 people that live there. That's higher than any other council ward in the county.

However, Talbot has a larger number of business premises in the area and therefore has more than twice as many business and commercial burglaries as any other wardin Blackpool,whereas other areas have higher residential burglaries.

Charlotte Watkin, 23, who lives on Peter Street near Talbot Road with her partner and two young children, has witnessed first-hand this type of crime happening in the area.

She had [pounds sterling]700 worth of items stolen including a bike, a tandem and a bike trailer from her back garden.

This happened about three weeks before Christmas between 4am and 6am, and her children were aged four and seven months at the time.

She said: "All were locked up and who ever did it came prepared with lock cutters. It also seems as though they knew exactly what they were coming for.

"But the thing that bothered me most is how my partner went to work and took my daughter to school.

"Two kids and robbed just before Christmas. At the time my children were four and seven months. And the police didn't even come out.

"I was on the phone to them and asked if anyone was going to come out and what I got was 'Well, your bike being nicked doesn't prioritise someone being stabbed'.

"They weren't helpful at all and made me feel like I was wasting theirs and my time."

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The family tried to obtain CCTV footage from nearby shops but were told they needed the police to request it, which did not happen.

Charlotte continued: "There's a few shops near where we live and none would let us see the CCTV or even look at it because they said they needed the police to request it. We walked for hours looking for it.

"A lady at the end of the road to me said that someone stole from her a few months ago as well."

Another resident, Grayson Wilde, 25, had his brand new pushbike stolen from within his flat building in November 2018.

Grayson said: "I live on Hornby Road, just a five minute walk from town, and just November last year someone has walked into the main building of my flat and stolen a brand new [pounds sterling]500 pushbike.

"The people around here watch what they are taking, I kept my bike secured inside a building so someone has obviously watched me come inside with it at some point and planned a time at which to try and take it.

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"The thieves around here aren't as dumb to just commit a daylight crime anymore, then plan what they do to get the most out of it.

"I also believe that they have watched to see when I leave the home as the bike was stolen within a three hour window of me being out of the home."

Only 4% of all the crimes that took place in Talbot were burglaries.

None of these burglaries had resulted in someone going to prison at the time the data was published and only 21 cases had gone to court.

There were 55 cases that were dropped, and 52 had another outcome or were still under investigation at the time the data was published.

Police have failed to identify suspects in 54% of the Talbot burglary cases, which were then closed.

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However it was not the worst neighbourhood for unsolved burglaries, which turned out to be Goodshaw in Rossendale.

Here every case - eight in total - were closed with no suspect identified.

Police UK slightly round the location of crimes, therefore some crimes that have taken place near council ward boundaries may have been recorded in a neighbouring council ward.

After Talbot, Barnfield in Hyndburn was the worst neighbourhood in Lancashire for burglaries with 40 burglaries for every 1,000 residents.

That was followed by Trinity, Burnley with 32 for every 1,000 residents, and Bloomfield, Blackpool with 30 for every 1,000 residents.

On average, across England and Wales there were 429,446 burglaries that took place last year - equivalent to seven for every 1,000 people.

Lancashire Police have also recorded their own figures and said that from November 2017 to October 2018 146 Talbot burglaries relate to business and commercial premises and 131 relate to residential.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "We take reports of burglary very seriously and are reinvesting in proactive target teams across the county whose role will include tackling burglary.

"We are committed to preventing and responding to all crimes. We want residents to feel safe and understand we will do everything possible to trace criminals and take action against them.

"We investigate all cases reported to us and make sure that victims get the support they need. Victims are at the heart of what we do and we strive to get the best outcome we can for them.

"Lancashire Constabulary continually strives to improve the way in which it works and bring offenders to justice.

"We will strive to do the best we can to keep the people of Lancashire safe and feeling safe."

CAPTION(S):

Credit: Charlotte Watkin

Charlotte Watkin's bikes were stolen just before Christmas

Credit: Charlotte Watkin

Charlotte Watkin's family had their bikes stolen

Credit: Charlotte Watkin

Charlotte Watkin's bikes were stolen just before Christmas

Credit: Grayson Wilde

Credit: Grayson Wilde

Grayson Wilde had his pushbike stolen
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Publication:Accrington Observer (Chadderton, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 7, 2019
Words:992
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