Police target Harborough after spike in crime

CCTV from the break-in at the Cube Youth and Community Centre in Market Harborough
CCTV from the break-in at the Cube Youth and Community Centre in Market Harborough

A six-week crime spree in Market Harborough has led to Leicestershire’s Chief Constable insisting: “We are taking action”.

More than 15 premises have been broken into, some more than once, in a spike of crime that has included everything from community centres and hairdressers to art dealers and even charity shops.

Some businesses insist they know who is responsible, and two local people’s names have been given to the Mail.

The leader of Harborough District Council, Blake Pain, contacted the Chief Constable Simon Cole after being approached by worried local businesses.

Cllr Pain said: “I asked for assurances that current police strategies are working.”

The leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group Phil Knowles has arranged a meeting with Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Willie Bach.

Cllr Knowles said: “There have been a large number of break-ins in recent weeks, and people are concerned.”

Chief Constable Simon Cole insists that the spike in burglaries is being addressed.

In an emailed letter to Cllr Pain, he said an enforcement plan had been put in place to target the “small number of criminals responsible for recent thefts and burglaries in Market Harborough”.

The town police operation has resulted in a number of arrests, Mr Cole said.

The police have also increased the number of patrols in the town.

Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “We have officers dedicated to ensuring that the town continues to prosper.”

The spike in break-ins is particularly noticeable because Market Harborough normally has a low crime rate.

Cllr Pain said: “It is important that residents and businesses feel assured that everything possible is being done by the police to bring culprits to justice.”

Meanwhile frustrated town businesses say they want to see people in court for the spate of crime.

At hair stylists Studio 51 in Market Harborough, which lost more than £2,000 in August after a break-in, co-owner Sharon McCall said: “We want to see results from all this police action.

“Market Harborough is a lovely town, and it’s being spoilt by a certain element - just a few people - on the rampage for the last few weeks.”

Sharon and co-owner Karen Burton are planning a meeting of burgled businesses if the police fail to catch the thieves in the next few days.