Tackling burglaries is top of Bolton police's agenda, a senior officer has said.

Residents and councillors have often flagged burglary a crime which they consider a priority for police to deal with in Bolton.

They say not only can being a victim of burglary result in valuables being take, but the psychological toll can also be quite distressing.

And during a Police and Communities Together (PACT) meeting on Monday, February 20, Inspector Jamie Hibbert of the Bolton West Neighbourhood Team told residents that the crme is “front and centre” of GMPs list of importance as well.

Cllr David Wilkinson highlighted the issue, saying that there had been a “couple of burglaries” in recent times in Westhoughton.

And despite numbers of incidents being low, which led to Insp Hibbert labelling the town as “not a bad area”, he did say that police had taken their “eye off the ball” in recent years.

“The police model has changed in terms of the national response to burglaries,” he added.

The Bolton News: (L to R) PC Barker, PCSO Michelle Moore, Insp Hibbert, and Sgt Robertson(L to R) PC Barker, PCSO Michelle Moore, Insp Hibbert, and Sgt Robertson (Image: Newsquest)

“There is a commitment to go to every burglary that happens to take a statement and doing what you’d expect – checking CCTV, have PCSOs around the area knocking on doors, getting responses way quicker.

“CSI goes to every domestic burglary.

“It’s better now. Burglary is front and centre. That and domestic violence are right at the top.”

Cllr Wilkinson says he was 'extremely impressed' by a recent meeting between Bolton Council and GMP’s Chief Constable Stephen Watson, where he explained how he is looking to “go back to basics” following his appointment to drag the force out of special measures.

“He was keen on reducing burglary and we’ve had a few,” Cllr Wilkinson added.

Insp Hibbert says that he will return to the next PACT meeting, which he intends to schedule quarterly, with some statistics on the work they have been doing.

The more intelligence and evidence police have, the more successful they will be at solving crimes, so Insp Hibbert is encouraging people to help him and his officers by reporting any information they might have.

“Crimestoppers is the best way to do it. It’s anonymised.

“We don’t have a direct telephone number for reporting crimes in in Westhoughton.

“If we did, it would be answered, but we would have to put all the intelligence into the system and that would take a long time so it’s better to go through Crimestoppers.”

Residents can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or they can call the police’s non-emergency number on 101.

In an emergency, people should always dial 999.