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Most crime 'committed by outsiders'
The majority of the burglaries in the district are carried out by people from outside the area, according to a senior police officer.
Detective Inspector Rob Huddleston claims criminals travel in from neighbouring Hertfordshire London boroughs and other part of Essex in order to target homes left empty during the working day and unsupervised cars.
He said an analysis of those convicted of offences demonstrates the trend.
Det Insp Huddleston warned areas near major transport arteries are at increased risk of being targeted.
“We get a lot of transient criminality. Criminals come in on the Tube or via the M11 and on the major A-roads,” he added.
“They are attracted by a lot of empty houses during work hours and a lot of cars with valuables parked outside tube stations.”
Det Insp Huddleston advised people to regularly check the security of their properties and vehicles, while police resources are placed in area considered most at risk.
But Det Insp Huddleston admitted limited resources can mean crime levels can vary from place to place.
He said: “We might increase our presence in one area and crime might go up in another. We don’t have unlimited resources. I would be lying if I said we did.”
While overall crime in Epping Forest is down over the last six months, Waltham Abbey and Loughton suffered about 100 crimes a month, with more burglaries reported in Ongar than anywhere else in the district.
Det Insp Hiddlestone said low-level violence has risen in some areas because police have been stationed there to tackle the problem.
He said: “We have seen an increase in violent crime such as people scrapping outside nightclubs which wouldn’t usually be reported because we have been present.
“We have to record all offences we see and therefore figures will go up.”
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