CITY leaders are celebrating after it emerged the number of major thefts and frauds in York is on course for a 42 per cent reduction.

The number of burglaries, robberies and other such thefts is predicted to plummet from 3,459 cases in 2008/09 to 2,032 in 2009/10.

A report to the council’s executive stated: “The number of serious acquisitive crimes is heading for a 42 per cent reduction on the 3,459 reported in 2008/09 and comes in well under the 2009/10 local area agreement target of 3,696.

“This reduction has been attributed to good intelligence-led policing and to a number of schemes which were designed specifically to target serious acquisitive type incidents. This was also supported by other prolific offender based initiatives.”

Meanwhile across York residents are being urged to make sure their homes are not easy to burgle this Christmas.

Police are issuing the warning to lock their windows, doors and keep valuables out of sight, following a spate of burglaries across the city. Three were reported to North Yorkshire Police in the space of 24 hours.

Police say a high proportion of burglaries in the city are “sneak-in” offences, with the offenders not having to make any effort to break into the house, but simply walking in through an insecure door, or climbing through an open window.

There are also a large number of two-in-one, or “Hanoi”, burglaries where car keys are stolen from a property and the vehicle is subsequently stolen.

A police spokeswoman stressed the importance of home security, urging residents to ensure all doors and windows were locked and keys kept well out of sight.

“People need to take extra care to ensure doors and windows are kept locked at all times, even when the occupants are at home,” she said.

“Care especially needs to be taken in the run-up to Christmas where valuables are kept in the home.”