AS few as one in 20 burglaries in some parts of Swindon were solved last year, as detection rates across all sectors fell behind those of more serious crimes.

Burglaries and thefts make up the bulk of offences around the town, and success rates in bringing offenders to justice are highest in the town centre, where burglaries often involve thefts from stores and commercial premises.

Almost 12 per cent of all offences in the town centre resulted in prosecutions in 2013, with a number of cases still under investigation.

That compares to just over four per cent of similar offences, often dwelling burglaries, being cleared up in the north-east sector.

While detection rates remain low, the number of offences reported to police has fallen dramatically over the past year.

In West Swindon, robberies are currently down by 25 per cent on the year before, as the result of carefully targeted drug raids in the sector.

PC Stephen Yeates, beat manager for Toothill and Freshbrook, said: “Robberies are currently down by 25 per cent over last year, and overall crime is down by 12 per cent.

“Last year we had 3,703 reports of crimes compared with 3,462 this year, so progress is being made.

“The most substantial reductions in burglaries have been in non-dwelling properties, such as sheds and garages. That number has fallen by 37 per cent over the last year, from 354 to 236.

“We know that drugs and thefts go hand in hand, but we are always going to be two steps behind. We always rely on good information from the public. If we do not know about a crime we will not be there and they will always get away with it.”

In contrast, good work is being done in closing cases of sexual offences, with around 35 per cent of all cases being wrapped up in the north-east last year.

The number of cases reported to police in Wiltshire fell for the first time in 2013, from 107 to 76, and the force has come out as one of the highest performing in the country for detection of sex offences against both adults and children.

For adult rape cases the sanction detection rate was 28 per cent compared with 18 per cent nationally, and for offences against children last year it came in at 43 per cent, against a 31 per cent average in England and Wales.

This leaves Wiltshire as the fourth highest performing force for adult rape cases and fifth highest for child rape cases.