A POLICE operation to crack down on burglars has led to 18 arrests.
Since the beginning of the year, Northumbria Police has been working to catch those suspected of being involved in burglaries across the area, as well as targeting those who sell on the stolen goods.
The operation was launched in response to the rising number of houses being broken into across Houghton.
Since January, 19 search warrants have been executed, 18 arrests made and 312 people and 139 vehicles have been stopped and checked.
Police chiefs today hailed the operation a success, with only two burglaries being reported in the last two weeks.
But they have pledged to continue their campaign.
Neighbourhood Inspector Lisa Musgrove, who covers Houghton, said: “Whether they’re burglars, handling stolen goods or involved in other types of crimes, we will disrupt their criminal activity to make sure the number of break-ins continues to fall.
“Anyone who has been broken into will know how devastating it is. It doesn’t just affect them, it affects their families and the wider community.
“We’re doing everything we can to reduce the number of people who are victims and our communities can play a vital part in helping us to achieve that.
“The support we have received from people in reporting suspicious activity has been crucial and we would urge people to continue to contact police if they see anything out of the ordinary in their neighbourhood.”
Coun Tom Foster, chairman of the Safer Sunderland Partnership which is backing the campaign, added: “The success of this police operation shows what can be achieved when we all work together as a community.
“We’re sending out a strong message to criminals that we know who you are, we know where you live and what you’re doing, and we won’t hesitate to take the strongest possible action to stop you.”
To report a burglary or other crime, phone Northumbria Police on 101 ex 69191.
For advice on how to secure your home, visit www.northumbria.police.uk.