The majority of theft related crime in Bridlington can be attributed to drug and alcohol abuse, according to outgoing Inspector Grant Taylor.
Mr Taylor made the point at a Bridlington Town Council meeting, in response to a question from South Ward councillor James Carder.
Councillor Carder had asked Inspector Taylor whether he thought unemployment was a main contributing factor to theft related crimes.
Inspector Taylor replied: “If you could get rid of drugs and obviously alcohol dependence, theft related crime would absolutely plummet.
“So it is more linked to addiction than it is to unemployment.
Inspector Taylor, who is leaving Bridlington Police after four years, will now work for Hull Police Force. At the meeting on 18 March, Inspector Taylor also reeled off a list of figures related to crime levels in the town
He said: “We’ve executed 29 drug warrants in 2014 and a similar number the year before. We have been so proactive is because of funding we have received from yourselves [the town council].”
He also revealed that between 2013 and 2014, shop thefts in had declined 15 per cent, from 337 to 290.
Antisocial behaviour was also down, having dropped 10 per cent and criminal damage was down 27 per cent.
There was no change in the number of dwelling burglaries, with 136 incident taking place throughout both 2013 and 2014. However a recent spate of shed burglaries has caused a sharp rise in non-dwelling burglaries.
Inspector Taylor said: “In 2013 we had 134, and in 2014 we’ve had an increase to 217 and that’s a 63 per cent increase.
“This is our Achilles heel really. We have had a big spike on non-dwellings, in particular shed burglaries. We are working with partners to try to sort that.
“Lower-level crime tends to be carried out by local people, but not necessarily by people born and bred in Bridlington. High-level crime, such as the Lloyds TSB Bank robbery tends to be carried out by people from outside of Bridlington.”
Inspector Taylor added police received funding to fit metal bars “that go across doors” at allotments and are rolling out a campaign to victims.