Crime in Biggleswade has increased through 2015, the latest police figures have revealed.
After three years of a reduction of crimes in the town, the latest figures which are only from April to November 2015 are already showing an upswing.
And from April to December there has been a 9% increase in recorded crime compared to 2014.
From 2012 to 2014 figures for all crimes had dropped to below 59 a month for the whole year. But the eight months included in a recent report to Biggleswade Town Council show crimes have already reached an average of 64 per month.
The breakdown shows criminal damage is increasing and cases of shoplifting have dramatically increased. Figures for the eight months already stand at an average of 13 incidents a month – the highest since 2010/11 at 13.25 a month for the whole year.
Comparing figures from November 15-December 3 2015 to the period in 2014 there has been a 50% rise in thefts, including pumpkins taken from a front garden.
There has also been a slight rise in criminal damage, although the number of incidents of assaults without injury - four - has stayed the same.
There was one robbery at a business when a staff member of Biggleswade Express was threatened with a gun last month.
But there was some good news.
Community policing priority areas such as dwelling burglary have fallen by 46 per cent while distraction burglaries have also fallen by 29 per cent in the same period.
Chief Inspector Gavin Hughes-Rowlands said: “We’ve been working hard to tackle key areas of crime such as burglary and have recently seen a decrease of almost 50 per cent in dwelling burglaries, which is really encouraging to see.
“Unfortunately we have seen a slight increase in areas such as criminal damage and theft from motor vehicles, resulting in an overall increase of nine per cent for recorded crime in Biggleswade.
“I’d like to reassure the public that we are working hard to tackle these types of crimes, which we understand are distressing for the victims, as well as clamping down on anti-social behaviour.
“Community policing is at the heart of all we do and we are committed to providing a visible policing presence in Biggleswade.
“We are happy to arrange appointments with concerned members of the public at the station or at their homes and people can also call 101 to speak to their local policing team or to report a crime.”