BREAK-INS in North Ayrshire have more than halved over the last five years, figures have revealed.

Between April and October, there were 211 housebreakings down from 490 in 2012/13, a figure that has dropped every year.

Chief Inspector of North Ayrshire, Brian Shaw, is delighted with the figures and recognises that his officers face a tough job to keep the number down.

He said: “It is really positive to see that we have driven down housebreaking. I would like to take credit but it is all about one big team.

“It is a focus and we are plateauing out so it will be a challenge to keep it at the levels it is just now and to reduce it further.”

Over the local areas in North Ayrshire, Irvine has had the sharpest drop in housebreakings, going from 64 last year to just 47 this year, in comparison, the Three Towns went from 53 last year to 62 this year. Kilwinning remained exactly the same at 25, the Garnock Valley saw an increase of six from 37 to 43.

The North Coast, Cumbrae and West Kilbride went up one from 31 to 32 and Arran went from one last year to two this year.

A number of factors play a part in the reductions overall and CI Shaw added: “We focus on patterns, peak times and dates are also targeted. We are always asking for intelligence from people in the community on such crimes.

“I have a personal pride looking at these levels, they are as low as they have ever been.

“Housebreakings are always difficult to detect as they invariably occur when nobody is in but we are aware of several prolific individuals and we will maintain focus on them in the community.

“There are a number of people in prison for such crimes and we continue to manage that in the community as best we can.”

Vehicle crime is also down by over 40 per cent with the figure in 2012/13 being 341 compared to 187 this year.

Chief Inspector Brian Shaw said: “It’s not quite half but it isn’t far off it. It is good to see a reduction because homes and cars are people’s biggest assets.”

Housebreakings cover domestic, commercial and out buildings such as huts and garages. There is an almost equal split between housebreakings for homes and businesses with a rise hut and garage incidents.