HOLIDAYMAKERS have been urged to do more to protect their property when they head off from Wearside.
Only 55 per cent of people from the North East giving a spare key to a neighbour, friend or relative to check on their homes, research for the AA found.
Londoners were least likely to give a spare key to a neighbour, at 38 per cent, despite having one of the highest crime rates in the country.
Tom Stringer head of the AA’s Home Emergency Response Service said: “When you’re going on holiday it’s best to have someone check on your home, though it can be difficult for people who don’t have a friend or relative living nearby.
“A lot of people don’t feel comfortable leaving a key with a neighbour – especially if you don’t know them very well.
“People aren’t as familiar with their neighbours as they used to be.
“But they’re best placed to keep an eye out for you and report anyone acting suspiciously.
“It’s safer to leave your spare key with someone you trust than under a plant pot in the garden.”