PEOPLE living in a rural pocket of County Durham are the least likely to have their homes burgled, according to new statistics.
Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling has released a league table of burglary hotspots in the UK, revealing the most and least likely places to suffer from burglary.
Last year just 14 house burglaries were recorded in Teesdale, a large but sparsely populated area where the main town is Barnard Castle, but which also has numerous picturesque villages such as Cotherstone, Romaldkirk, Staindrop and Middleton-in-Teesdale.
Teesdale came top of a list of top 20 burglary “cold spots” – or places where householders are least likely to be broken into.
And the good news for the north is that Berwick, Alnwick and Tynedale districts also made the top 20 safest districts, at six, eleven and 13 respectively.
Further good news is that not one of the region’s inner city areas made the official top 20 burglary “hotspots” – areas where you are most likely to be paid an unwelcome visit.
The dubious distinction of the district with the greatest proportion of burglaries per household was the centre of Manchester, which recorded 7,167 break-ins last year, at the rate of 35 per each 1,000 households.
In Teesdale, by contrast, just 1.27 households per thousand were burgled. The figures in Berwick, where 25 burglaries were reported last year, are 2.07 per thousand; in Alnwick 37 homes were burgled last year, or 2.47 per 1,000 households, while in Tynedale 68 homes were burgled last year at a rate of 2.62 per 1,000.
Acting Chief Inspector Tony Avery, of Barnard Castle Police, said: “The figures quoted reflect what we have said for a long time – that Teesdale is among the safest places to live in the country. But the biggest challenge we face is to ensure it stays that way. We cannot afford to be complacent and assume burglary will always remain an issue for somewhere else.
“I would urge people to maintain their own levels of security and do whatever they can to assist the police.
“We have many volunteers who are part of our local Neighbourhood Watch or Farmwatch schemes and they play a vital part in helping keep the area largely crime-free.”