PICKPOCKETING is on the rise in Harrogate, with the number of cases doubling in a year.
Shoppers have been advised to take more care of their wallets, purses and mobile phones after 117 thefts were recorded between April and December – up from 58 during the same period in 2010.
The increase has contributed to a 23 per cent rise in cases across the county, North Yorkshire Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick has revealed.
The figures are included in a report to North Yorkshire Police Authority’s performance and scrutiny board, which will meet today.
But Mr Madgwick will tell the board that “theft from the person” offences account for only 1.6 per cent of recorded crime in the county.
North Yorkshire Police tried to combat the problem in December with a campaign codenamed Operation Advent, which involved more officers patrolling the town centre and advising shoppers to keep valuables out of sight. Police handed out handbag alarms and purse bells and left crime prevention advice leaflets in pubs and hotels.
The board will also hear that the number of burglaries has risen in Selby, Hambleton and Richmondshire, with criminals from outside North Yorkshire thought to be to blame. Tackling “cross-border offending” – criminals who travel into the county to commit crime – is now a priority for the force, Mr Madgwick will say.
The Deputy Chief Constable will also update the board on the force’s handling of 999 calls, which has come under scrutiny since its Northallerton control room was closed last year.
The force takes two seconds longer on average to answer 999 calls than last year, but Mr Madgwick will say times are “improving” and are well within the national target of 10 seconds.