A RECENT increase in burglaries is down to 'one or two' prolific criminals and not the economic downturn, according to South Yorkshire Police's chief constable.

David Crompton has blamed the rise on a shortage of police officers caused by funding cuts.

"There was a rise at the beginning of the year, around April and May, in some acquisitive types of crime in Barnsley," Mr Crompton said.

"I think it's more than likely that we started off the year in Barnsley with one or two people who were hell-bent on committing crime.

"We have now got those arrested and got them back into the system and things are settling back down to the more expected levels.

Recent crime figures show burglary rates have gone up by 7.1 per cent in Barnsley, since the start of the financial year. However, crime in South Yorkshire fell by seven per cent last year - down for the 24th year running.