A NEW police operation has been launched to clamp down on metal thefts in Ashington.
Operation Stage Coach was put together by Northumbria Police to tackle the increase of metal thefts in and around North Seaton.
It has been running since July 1, and since then officers have only had one reported metal theft in the area.
In the months before the action there had been eight reported crimes of metal theft.
The initiative has seen officers carrying out a variety of work to deter criminals, educate the public on crime prevention and work with partners to make the area safer and less attractive to metal thieves.
Regular high visibility patrols have been carried out throughout North Seaton which have allowed police to speak to residents about their concerns, and provide reassurance to the community.
Police have also been working with the council and local housing groups, accessing empty properties to security mark boilers and other metal items.
Signs have been put up in the area clearly stating that properties in North Seaton are part of the metal marking scheme, which in turn has acted as a deterrent to potential thieves.
Crime prevention packs have been issued to home owners while residents signed up to the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Anyone with any information about metal thefts in their area, or to speak to their neighbourhood policing team, should call 03456 043043 ext 69191.
n POLICE are appealing for information after thieves stole a copper tank from the kitchen of a home in North Seaton.
Thieves broke into the house in Winchester Close between 5pm on Friday, October 28, and 9.30am on Monday, October 31, and stole the tank before making off unseen.
Anyone who was in the Winchester Close area over the weekend and saw any suspicious people or vehicles is asked to contact police on 03456 043043 ext 69191.