WEARSIDERS are being urged to become metal detectors.
Police are asking members of the public to join them in their fight against metal thieves by reporting anything suspicious they may see.
Officers in particular want to hear from people if they see anyone removing metal, cable or lead flashing or if they come across lead or copper that has been stashed.
Neighbourhood Inspector John Connolly said: “Information we receive from members of the community is invaluable and vital in helping police tackle crime and disorder, including metal thefts, and we want people to continue to get in touch.
“Thieves are stealing lead and copper, hiding it and coming back for it later and we’d urge anyone who comes across this to report it to police.
“Residents are familiar with the area they live in and will often notice when something appears out of the ordinary.
“It doesn’t matter how insignificant people think the information is, it could prove vital.”
Police already make regular visits to scrap metal dealers to make sure the metal they are trading in is genuine.
Cross-border operations are also carried out with neighbouring Durham police to target people transporting metal.
For more information, visit www.northumbria.police.uk