Police begin burglary crackdown in Sunderland and South Shields to stop rise in crime over summer
Police say they have begun a summer crackdown to prevent a rise in anti-social behaviour, thefts and other crimes over the coming months.
Officers across Northumbria Police's Southern Area Command are looking to reduce the number burglary and car crime incidents heading into the summer months in Sunderland and South Tyneside.
Police say they will step up patrols in a bid to combat these types of offences, with lighter nights and warmer weather historically seeing a rise in the crimes.
But Inspector Donald Wade, of Northumbria Police, hopes to buck that trend and has urged people to be on their guard - and not make themselves an easy target for potential offenders.
"We are actively patrolling the streets day after day looking to arrest criminals," Insp Wade said.
"I want to reassure the public that we are working hard to investigate crimes and proactively target offenders, who look to heap misery on our residents for purely selfish gains.
"But there's a few simple steps we can take together to make it harder for criminals to steal our property.
"Many burglars will travel the streets looking for opportunities to break into houses through unlocked doors or windows.
"With the lighter nights and sunny weather, now is the time to be vigilant.
"Please ensure that you keep your doors locked when out in the garden, and keep valuable items away from open windows.
"We have often received reports where criminals have seen an open window and reached in to take laptops, mobile phones or car keys.
"Our message is similar for car crime.
"Thieves will target unlocked vehicles, go street to street trying doors and looking for an easy gain.
"Please take an extra moment to ensure your car is secure. It's a small thing that could make a big difference.
"Make sure any items are placed in the glove-box or boot, rather than on display, and take any valuable items such as sat-navs or tools out of your vehicle at night.
"Let's make it harder for criminals to profit from burglary and car crime by working together."
Police added they will work with partner organisations to spread crime prevention messages throughout the summer, and letters supported by Sunderland City Council are set to be sent out to occupants living in the most targeted areas of the city.
The letters will remind people of how best to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of burglary and car crime.
Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council and Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, said: "It's always better to be safe than to be sorry and a few simple crime prevention steps can help make sure we can all enjoy the summer and not have it ruined by opportunistic thieves.
"By working together we all play a part in helping making sure our city is a safer place to live in, to work in and to play in."
Residents should report any suspicious activity by contacting police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For further crime prevention advice is available at www.northumbria.police.uk/advinfo.