THE number of burglaries in York is significantly down but further work is needed, a leading detective has said.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show burglaries fell by five per cent during the 12 months ending in September 2013, and in December 2013 they were down 49 per cent on the same time the previous year – 41 fewer offences.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Sweeting, the head of York CID, said he was pleased with the drop in burglaries – down 24 per cent since 2009 – but said more work needed to be done in some areas.

He said: “An awful lot of work has gone into tackling burglary and the reduction in offences, and the fact that we have identified and locked up some of the most prolific offenders means that our efforts are bearing fruit.

“There has been a rise in burglary in Scarborough and Ryedale and in Selby, but residents in those areas can rest assured that we are working hard to bring reductions.”

DCI Sweeting said more than two-thirds of criminals were charged within 50 days of the crime being reported – 68 per cent, up from 56 per cent in 2012.

Ongoing initiatives, including Operation Hawk, have also helped gather intelligence on travelling criminals and have helped bring a 35 per cent reduction in burglaries in the Craven and Harrogate districts.

Assistant chief constable Paul Kennedy said he was “impressed by the commitment of officers across North Yorkshire and the city of York” to reducing crime in the community, and “word is getting round” the criminal fraternity.

He said: “The impact a burglary can have on victims is difficult to comprehend unless you have been a victim yourself, and it is our aim to ensure that as few people as possible have to deal with it.

“Initiatives such as Operation Hawk have undoubtedly contributed to the reductions in burglary over the past few months. We have an increased presence out ther,e with our new road crime team offering a strong visible deterrent, and they have made some fantastic arrests.”

In York two men, aged 22 and 24, have been arrested on suspicion of committing 11 burglaries in the area and are currently on bail.

A 17-year-old has been sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order after a commercial burglary at Monkbar Pharmacy; a 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of committing a number of burglaries in York and later bailed, and a 31-year-old man was charged with burglary, handling stolen goods and going equipped for theft. He is currently remanded in custody and awaiting trial.

Other significant arrests include a 17-year-old and a 21-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary in Harrogate; a 49-year-old man from Leeds arrested on suspicion of committing a burglary at Burnt Yates, Harrogate, in December; and a 40-year-old man arrested on suspicion of committing a number of offences in York and Harrogate.

The latter has also been questioned by officers in South Yorkshire about offences in their area.