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Police say group's 'burglary on the rise' claim is wrong

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

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POLICE have dismissed claims from a Facebook group that violent gang burglaries are on the rise in Ilfracombe.

On Monday a Facebook group called Ilfracombe Community News posted a CCTV picture of a house being burgled and warned residents to be vigilant.

The post read: "Sadly Ilfracombe has seen a significantly high number of violent gang domestic burglaries in the last few weeks. Please be vigilant and secure all your doors and windows at all times.

"Report anything suspicious to the Police immediately. Remember, next time it could be you."

The post says the photo is for demonstration purposes only.

The post had been shared across Facebook 35 times within 24 hours and attracted more than 30 comments.

However, North Devon Sector Inspector Roger Bartlett has refuted the claim that burglaries are on the increase.

He said: "In the past two months we've only had four dwelling burglaries reported in Ilfracombe.

"We are investigating one recent burglary which involved a number of people but there is no evidence that this is a trend. There is definitely no reason for anyone to be worried, in fact dwelling burglary figures have plummeted.

"We have seen a 35 per cent reduction in domestic burglaries year on year and things are getting safer all the time.

"As with any offence it is important that people report these crimes as soon as they happen to give us the best chance of apprehending the culprits."

The Journal contacted the Ilfracombe Community News Facebook page but no one was available for comment.

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