Police clarify Gladstone break-in figures

QUEENSLAND Police have clarified break-in statistics published in The Observer this week.

The data published in "Crime time: Six houses a day targeted by thieves" on Thursday was incorrect.

The material was gathered from Queensland Police's publicly accessible Reported Offences Rates section on its website.

The Observer published data from the website in good faith.

The data was calculated as crimes per suburb, leading to the conclusion that 2000 homes were broken into over a 12-month period.

However, it should have been calculated as crimes per 100,000 head of population.

Under this calculation, the data shows that during the 2013/2014 financial year, the number of homes and business break-ins reported to police was: Agnes Water, 13; Biloela, 36; Calliope, 16; Gladstone, 203; Miriam Vale, 9; Mount Larcom, 7; and Tannum Sands, 34.

The total is 318.

"Gladstone police continue to work tirelessly to prevent crime in the district and are happy to see recent figures that show crime has dropped over the past three years," Police Media said in a statement.

"Incorrect figures released in the media today suggest 2000 homes were being broken into in the Gladstone Police District in the past year, when actual figures show that to be less than a quarter of the reported figure.

"House and business break-ins are down across the patrol area, particularly in the Gladstone, Biloela, Agnes Water, Mount Larcom and Tannum Sands areas."

Crime Services Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow reminded all people to ensure that doors, windows and garages were securely locked when you are home or away.

"Thieves are opportunistic, and they are effectively being given easy access inside your home and allowing them to flee the scene quickly," he said.

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