Eight arrested in Washington after spike in car crime and thefts

Picture sent by Northumbria Police.

Picture sent by Northumbria Police.

Eight suspected thieves have been arrested as part of a continued crackdown on vehicle crime and thefts in Washington.

In recent weeks, police say they have seen an increase in the number of break-ins reported in the town.

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A number of readers have also contacted the Echo to voice their concerns over what they saw as a spate of crime.

Northumbria Police say officers ‘have moved quickly to respond to community concerns’.

The force launched Operation Dreyfus in the area to specifically tackle vehicle crime, burglary and thefts, with uniformed and plain-clothed officers deployed both day and night to targeted areas.

The operation is also being supported by dedicated officers from the Force’s Roads Policing Team.

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Police say the move has seen instant results with a string of arrests made.

Picture of police cells sent by Northumbria Police.

Four men are now due to appear before the courts, one of whom has been recalled to prison, while four others remain on police bail with enquiries ongoing.

Two of the arrests – a 45-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman – followed vital intelligence provided by the local community.

Neighbourhood Inspector Angela Hewitt, of Northumbria Police, said: “We are committed to fighting crime and keeping people safe in our communities.

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“In recent months, we have seen an increase in the number of reports of theft and vehicle-related crime, with a number of cars broken into or stolen.

“We have listened to our community’s concerns – and that’s why we launched Operation Dreyfus to stop offenders in their tracks and ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

“As part of this crackdown, we’ve now arrested eight suspects in connection with various offences – many of whom will appear before the courts over the coming weeks.”

Insp Hewitt continued: “None of this would have been possible without the support and cooperation of the residents of Washington, I would like to thank everyone and make it clear that your concerns have been heard.

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“We will continue to carry out targeted patrols in hotspot areas, involving uniformed and plain-clothed officers, as well as continue to visit residents to offer reassurance and ensure you feel safe.

“There is no place for criminality and we will use every tactic available to us in order to bring offenders to justice.”

With the summer months approaching, police have asked residents to continue to work with them by taking a few extra steps to help reduce the risk of falling victim to opportunistic offenders.

Officers are appealing to the public to ensure their vehicles are locked and any valuables removed from sight.

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Anyone who sees anything suspicious in their community should report it to police by visiting https://www.northumbria.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/soh/seen-or-heard/.

In an emergency, or if a crime is taking place, always ring 999.

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