A SURGE in break-ins in Shafton has resulted in residents urging police to increase their patrols.

Over the past seven weeks there has been more than 15 break-ins and residents believe that the police should be doing more to combat the spike in crime.

One resident, who does not want to be named, told the Chronicle that she witnessed an attempted break-in at 3.30am one morning.

“We were up because of the weather,” she added. “My daughter was watching it thundering and lightening out of the window and I had to do a double glance but I could see people hopping around gardens.

“I phoned the police and they came around within 20 minutes of me calling them. When I rang I asked them not to come to my house as I didn’t want anyone to know that it was me who rang them.

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“But when I was on the phone to the police I was explaining to them exactly where they went into the opposite gardens.

“I’ve heard about break-ins that have been happening during the day, but there are older people on this estate and it’s been happening on our street around six or seven times in the past few weeks.”

The issue was recently brought up at a crime meeting held in Grimethorpe where members of Shafton Parish Council expressed their concerns about the issue.

A petition has now been started by residents in an attempt to get more police into the village.

A spokesman from the parish council said yesterday that a van - believed to be wearing false plates - had been spotted at multiple streets in the village.

“It’s been reported multiple times and we’re told by local police that they’re treating the matter as one of their priorities,” they added. “Meadow Croft and Park Avenue have been hit particularly hard and we’re crying out for more police presence.”