Concerns raised over rise in burglaries in Flint


Jamie Nield-Siddall

A BURGLARY victim who was left for dead at his home has raised concerns about a spate of break-ins in his community.

Police have confirmed they have seen an increase in burglary offences targeting elderly residents but insist Flintshire still remains a safe place to live.

Up to six properties have been targeted in Flint in the past month – including three homes within two weeks – striking fear into the community.

Burglary victim and Flint resident Jack Reece was stabbed in the stomach and arm when he disturbed burglars at his maisonette home 10 years ago.

A decade on, Mr Reece has spoken of the impact a burglary has on victims.

“It took me a long time to recover,” said Mr Reece, who has been part of the long-running campaign to bring back health services to Flint.

“It made me extremely conscious of security for about two years.

“The worst thing is the loss of security, knowing that someone has been in your house – that is the utter destroying thing.”

He said anyone burgling a home should be “shown no mercy by the courts” and should receive a “full sentence”.

His attackers were jailed and served three-and-a-half years before being released.

“Not all burglars are just happy to take whatever. They attack people, they decided to try to end my days,” Mr Reece added.

“What bothers me is there are children in the houses and the impact something like this can have on a child’s life. It would be life-changing.

“And elderly people too, if you were in your 80s it could finish you off.”

At the end of last month thousands of pounds of equipment was stolen during a raid on business We-Do-PC and a number of sheds have also been broken into in the area.

In the early hours of Monday two teenage girls also said they were left terrified when a hooded man tried to enter their home.

Scores of residents have also taken to Facebook to express their concerns about the break-ins.

Detective Inspector Tim Evans, of North Wales Police, said: “We have noted an increase in burglary dwelling offences across Flintshire. In Flintshire North, this equates to an increase of seven offences on last year to date.”

He added: “Flintshire remains a safe place to live, but we continue to work towards this aim, particularly in light of an increase in burglary offences targeting elderly residents.

“As a consequence we have alerted residents to the issues and provided advice .

“Meanwhile, our engagement continues with Doorstep Crime Reduction Group and Flintshire Trading Standards to prevent further offences and proactive operations will continue to target offenders.

“I would again ask residents to look out for their elderly neighbours, to report anything suspicious and for people not to deal with cold callers.

“Always check the identity of any unknown person who comes to your home and please report any suspicious activity to police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

Police say two men aged 20 and 17 have been arrested in connection with burglaries at Lon Odyn and Northop Road and remain on police bail while enquiries continue. Enquiries are also still ongoing in relation to the theft at the We-Do-PC stores.

Flint county councillor Alex Aldridge has urged the community to unite if they see anything suspicious.

“Flintshire and North Wales is one of the safest places to live in the country,” he said, “but one burglary is too many.

“No one has the right to trespass on someone’s property.

“People need to remain vigilant and if there is someone in their street, an elderly person or elderly couple who feel vulnerable, to check on them to see if they have any concerns.”

l A MAN has appeared in court accused of making his way into a Flint home without permission.

Phillip Powell, 28, of no fixed home, has been charged with entering a house on Albert Avenue, Flint, on Sunday with the intent to steal.

District judge Gwyn Jones, sitting at Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday, remanded Powell in custody until an appearance before Mold Crown Court on Friday, June 6.

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