Homes in Epping Forest are more likely to be burgled than any other place in Essex, it has emerged.

Figures which combine reported burglaries in Brentwood and Epping Forest show 1026 homes were targeted by thieves in the last year.

However, more than 723 of those raided were in Epping Forest, with a further 414 non-dwelling burglaries taking place in 2013.

Despite the smaller population in the district, the area sees more burglaries than Basildon with 984 home burlgaries and Southend, which had 865.

In 2013, just 39 people were charged with burglaries in the area.

Neighbourhood Inspector Andy Fusher said this figure is misleading as burglars are usually responsible for more than one offence.

He said: “I think that burglary is always going to have a low number of individual people convicted because it is such a serious crime.

“A high proportion of burglaries will be by the same people.

“Burglary is a real problem for us in Epping Forest.

“Because it has access from the A12 and transport links it is easy to get in and get out. Burglars know that this is an affluent area. They are travelling in from very far to come here.”

Despite the high levels of break-ins, Epping Forest has the second highest conviction in Essex, according to the inspector.

In Epping Forest 20.57 per cent of all burglaries led to a conviction, or 211 of the 1026 incidents reported, according to police figures.

This is behind only Braintree, which solved 24 percent or burglaries.

A Freedom of Information Act disclosure revealed there were 1148 total burglaries in Epping Forest in 2011 and 1139 in 2012.

But Inspector Fusher insisted resources are being put into tackling the problem.

He said: “The number of dwelling burglaries is going down and we are throwing all possible resources at getting it down further.

“We are trying to educate people about keeping their homes safe. People still leave their keys in their back doors or window keys in full view.

“We are working with the Crown Prosecution Service to give them the best case possible so that they can convict people."