‘Gangs are to blame’ for rise in burglaries

Homes in Great Cornard have been targeted by gangs of burglars from outside the area, according to a police officer.

The village has seen a 78 per cent hike in burglaries this year, rising from 32 offences in the 12 months to March 2012 to 57 offences in the last year.

Jewellery and a television were stolen during a spate in which four homes in Head Lane, The Drift and The Pot Kilns were targeted on February 16 and 17.

Speaking during Monday’s Great Cornard annual parish meeting, Pc Martin Johnson said: “The increase in burglaries is mainly due to gangs from outside the area picking on our nice houses and going for gold and cash.

“There was a significant vehicle from the Kent area that we were looking for which we have caught. Two men were arrested and are on bail – it is believed they are the tip of the iceberg.”

Pc Johnson reassured residents at the meeting that measures were in place to tackle this type of crime.

“We are combating this with plain clothes patrols, extra police surgeries and foot patrols around the areas,” he said.

Overall, crime figures for the village dropped by 11 per cent, with criminal damage offences down by a third and serious violent crime down 30 per cent. Drug offences also increased.