A police chief is urging people to keep opportunistic crooks locked out – and make sure a Merry Christmas doesn’t turn to misery.
With the winter nights drawing in and families busy buying gifts in the run-up to the festive season, police are stepping up their battle against burglars aiming to strike under cover of darkness.
I would rather these crimes didn’t happen at alll - that is the ideal outcome.Chief Inspector Jerry Pearson
But as part of their month-long Beat the Burglar campaign, crime-busting bobbies are sending out a plea to the public to join their fight against offenders.
Police say householders can greatly reduce the chances of falling prey to criminals – simply by keeping doors and windows slammed shut and making sure home alarms are switched on.
Chief Inspector Jerry Pearson is eager for residents to stay one step ahead of raiders – and says brains can beat burglars.
Chf Insp Pearson said: “As the dark nights come in, it is traditionally a time that burglaries increase.
““We want to avoid that.
“It is about making the public aware that burglars are not sophisticated.
“They are opportunists, and if they see a row of houses with one home that has a window open, or doesn’t have an alarm, that is the house they will choose.
“It is simple stuff that can prevent you from being a victim of crime.
“I have previously seen cases were children’s presents have been all wrapped up for weeks before Christmas and are then taken.
“It is a very unpleasant thing for anyone to go through.”
Chf Insp Pearson is also calling on the public to be the ‘eyes and the ears’ of police – by swiftly reporting suspicious activity when they see it.
“The public can help us by reporting crimes or suspicious activity as soon as they see it so we can immediately respond.
“They can be our eyes and ears.”
The police chief is eager to reassure the community that they remain unlikely to be victims of crime – but he is eager for them to be armed with the information they need to help freeze out burglars this winter.
Police will deploy extra patrols in hotspot areas whenever required as part of their ongoing crime crackdown – which is in force throughout the year.
But prevention of crime goes hand-in-hand with the vital role of fighting it.
Chf Insp Pearson added: “Historically, police love to catch criminals and get convictions as it is really important to reassure the public and see that justice is handed out to those responsible.
“But I would rather these crimes didn’t happen at all – that is the ideal outcome.”
Throughout November, police will be carrying out days of action throughout the force to target those suspected of being involved in burglary as well as hosting crime prevention events, property marking days and publishing a series of #BeatTheBurglar tips on the Northumbria Police Twitter account (@northpol) to help residents protect their property.
For more crime prevention information visit www.northumbria.police.uk/homesecurity, while people are urged to sign up to free property register Immobilise at www.immobilise.com.