Burglars aiming to cash in on Christmas are are being warned they could find themselves treated to a festive break behind bars.
Police will be hand-delivering Christmas cards to the homes of known criminals from today - warning them, officers have them in their sights.
The cards aim to remind burglars that they ‘won’t get away with it’.
It also highlights the fact that the least a criminal can expect to receive from police if they are tempted to commit crime, is being arrested, time in a police cell, stringent bail conditions and a court case to follow.
The move is part of Operation Sleigh and is aimed at targeting known burglars - and providing reassurance to residents in the run up to Christmas.
Over the next 12 days, second hand stores will also be visited by police teams to remind owners of their responsibilities when taking in property.
Those who do spoil other people’s Christmas by committing burglary will expect to have their Christmas spoiled by Northumbria Police.DCE Lee Gosling
Other places where criminals are known to pass on goods - including pubs - will also receive a police visit.
Raids will also be carried out on the homes of suspected burglars.
Detective Chief Inspector Lee Gosling of Southern Area Command, said: “We have devised lists of people who are known to have committed burglary in the past and who we think may commit burglary again.
“Each one of them will be getting a visit from police over the next 12 days.
“We intend to hand-deliver theseChristmas cards.”
He added: “Those who do spoil other people’s Christmas by committing burglary can expect to have their own Christmas spoiled by Northumbria Police.
“Generally, people’s perception of burglary in the run up to Christmas is that it rises.
“We wanted to run this operation to reassure the public burglary is still one of our key priorities and the chances of becoming a victim of a burglary is low.”
Residents are being asked to help police combat the burglars by ensuring doors and windows are locked and presents are not left in view of people passing through house windows.
Motorists are also being reminded not to leave goods on show in cars as it could prove too much for an opportunist thief to resist and to double check that the doors are locked whenever they leave vehicles unattended.
For more crime prevention advice visit www.northumbria.police.uk