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PCC encourages local communities to help make an impact on reducing burglaries

22nd February 2016

Local communities across Sunderland and South Tyneside are being encouraged to help Northumbria Police make an impact on reducing burglaries.

Earlier this month Northumbria Police launched Operation Impact aimed at targeting burglars in Sunderland and South Tyneside. Since the operation launched 43 people have been arrested for burglary offences.

28 people were arrested in Sunderland and 15 people arrested in South Tyneside – 17 of those arrested have been charged.

And, two men were recently sentenced for house burglaries for more than two years each.

Extra police patrols are being directed to the areas burglars are targeting in an effort to put a stop to their offending and offer reassurance to local residents.

Pressure is also being put on suspected offenders and work is ongoing to arrest those responsible.

To support the operation police are asking local residents to get involved and help make a difference. In the past seven days there have been two overnight sneak-in burglaries in Jarrow where the offender has gone into the property through an unlocked door or window.

Police believe burglars are taking advantage of poor home security and specifically targeting properties that have been left unlocked.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “Operations like this clearly demonstrate police are taking a strong stance against criminals who commit this type of crime and residents can be reassured activity to make further arrests is always in the pipeline.”

“I will make sure this continues to be a priority for officers so that those who are responsible for burglaries across Sunderland and South Tyneside are targeted, located and action taken against them.

“I urge residents to continue working with their neighbourhood officers, taking crime prevention steps to protect their property and reporting anything suspicious to the police so they can take action.”

Chief Inspector Jerry Pearson said: “It really is surprising the number of people who continue to leave their doors unlocked – not only during the day but overnight too – and I’m sorry to say but this is just an open invitation to burglars. Burglars actively try door handles on the off chance it has been left unlocked, they can be in and out of the property within minutes taking valuable items with them and all without the occupant realising until it is too late.

“People often leave car keys near to the front door – if the front door has been left unlocked a burglar can be in take the car keys and be away in the car in no time at all.

“We want to advise people to check their own security and make a few changes, get into the habit of locking the front door as soon as you get in, and if possible store car keys out of view. Making a few changes can help homeowners protect themselves and their belongings.”

What makes a home attractive to burglars? Open or insecure doors and windows; no security lighting; no visible burglar alarm; wheelie bins accessible; valuables on display; insecure shed; insecure garage door; signs that the property is vacant for example cars not on the drive or mail piling up behind the door; house in darkness during the evening.

Ch Insp Pearson added: “It is fair to say that if you forgot your keys and could easily get into your home then the chances are so could a burglar.”

Further crime prevention advise is available on the Northumbria Police website