HUNDREDS of hours of police patrols - carried out at burglary hotspots due to a spike in crime and subsequent residents’ concerns - will continue after ‘significant efforts’ were promised to reduce incidents.

Between July and September - the latest period available - 36 suspects were arrested after 497 patrol hours were put in by officers in worst-hit Central, Dearne, Kingstone and Penistone wards.

As well as this, 124 people with related convictions were checked on, while more than 2,000 visits to neighbouring properties where a burglary had occurred were carried out.

Operation Shield will be also stepped up into the spring, where residents in burglary-prone communities are given crime prevention assistance including the use of ‘smart water’ marking, where the contents of their home are marked with an invisible but unique fluid which acts as a ‘fingerprint’ so stolen property can be easily identified.

A police report said: “Residential burglary remains a key district priority, with significant efforts to tackle offending and bring offenders to justice.

“Between July 2022 and September 2022 there were 292 residential burglaries - a reduction from previous quarter.

“In the same period 36 suspects were arrested.

“Barnsley’s continued approach to residential burglary is underpinned by our ‘7x3 plan’ - introduced in October 2020, the plan provides seven core departments with three key responsibilities for residential burglary offences.

“This ensures effective co-ordinated activity across functions such as intelligence, response, neighbourhood policing, CID and custody to ensure evidential opportunities are maximised and support wider problem-solving work led by neighbourhood policing teams.

“Revised operational and tactical intelligence collection plans to focus preventative activity and target offenders.

“Intelligence analysis indicates that our most recent burglary hotspots have been in Penistone, Dearne, Kingstone and Central, however the district regularly responds to emerging trends through daily monitoring and management.”

It comes after it was revealed that more than 90 per cent of residential burglaries in Barnsley do not result in a conviction.

During January, February and March 2022, 300 residential burglaries took place, compared to 370 in the same time period in 2020/21, however just six per cent of burglars were convicted, which increased in 2021/22 to 6.9 per cent.

The report added: “Whilst this improvement is welcomed and contributes to further reductions through reduced re-offending, there is clearly more to do.

“The national average is five per cent.”

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, praised Barnsley officers’ response to concerns.

“For reasons that I find hard to fathom, there are high numbers of residential burglaries in our part of the country, higher than similar areas elsewhere.

“This is why I have said to the police that I want to see them make burglary one of their top priorities.

“We have to get on top of it and each month when I ask the district commanders to report to me on how their officers are performing, I ask them to talk about what they are doing to combat burglary.

“I am pleased to say that Barnsley officers are being very active.”