More than 850 burgled homes open

Residents are being urged to help police lock out criminals.

Since April last year there have been 2,816 house burglaries across the Northumbria Police force area, with 857 of those happening at homes where doors have been left unlocked or windows open.

As the police continue their Operation Soundwave campaign to tackle opportunist thieves, they are reminding people to secure their property to keep burglars at bay.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Gary Calvert said: “We continue to do everything we can to tackle suspected burglars, and since April last year there have been more than 1,700 arrests in connection with burglary offences.

“We’re aware of the impact being a victim of a burglary can have, it’s a devastating invasion of privacy, and that’s why a lot of our work is around preventing them from happening in the first place.

“This includes putting burglars behind bars to prevent them from offending.

“We’ve had almost 900 burglary offences since last April which potentially could have been prevented by some crime prevention steps.

“We know burglars try door handles attempting to find homes which are unlocked or with windows open and it’s vital people take time to lock their doors and windows, even when inside, making it difficult for offenders.

“By taking a few simple steps residents can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to such a crime.”

Residents are also urged to consider installing security devices such as CCTV, an alarm or security lighting, all of which puts thieves off, and they should consider using timer lights to come on at night.