BURGLARS in Wrexham are three times more likely to be caught than they were last year, according to a police report.
North Wales Police has revealed that latest figures from April 1 to July 20 of this year show a staggering four-fold increase in the number of burglaries detected from last year.
Over the same period in 2002, 140 burglaries were reported, 22 of which were detected. This year, although the number of reported burglaries has risen to 165, 88 of them have been detected.
The figures come just weeks after the Home Office announced that Wrexham is one of the safest towns to live in the country, with burglaries less than half the national average.
Wrexham Police has also announced it's 'Operation Homesafe' - which was set up in May to investigate household burglaries in the town - has resulted in four prolific burglars being convicted of 28 offences and sentenced to a total of 10 years and three months. Five more people are on remand awaiting trial or sentencing for another eight offences.
DS Mark Hughes, who is leading Operation Homesafe, said: 'We take burglary very seriously and thor-oughly investigate each and every offence reported in the town.
'The detection figures speak for themselves and we will keep up the momentum. We are absolutely committed to catching the offenders and the message to all burglars in the town is: 'We will pursue you relentlessly until you are caught and put before the courts.'
However, community leaders and politicians have warned that police must continue to clamp down on all aspects of anti-social behaviour.
Mike Griffiths, who lives on the troubled Smithy Lane estate in Acton, claims the area is still plagued by burglars.
He said: 'It is good news that burglaries in the town centre are decreasing, but these figures have been massaged. There's a big difference between crime detection and crime prevention, and that worries me.
'What also concerns me is that by making the town centre so secure, they've pushed these burglars into the surrounding villages. Drug dealing and burglary is rife here, and everyone who lives here is very jumpy because their houses are so vulnerable.
'I've spoken to a number of people who are having to carry walking sticks with them so they can be used as weapons. I don't condone that sort of vigilante justice, but the police response times to burglary-related call-outs are still so slow that people are having to take the law