Rural crime crackdown continues in Northumberland

Latest news from Northumbria Police.
Latest news from Northumbria Police.

Police tackling rural crime are continuing to carry out extra patrols to combat criminals across Northumberland.

This follows reports of offences such as burglaries and high value thefts taking place in remote areas of the county.

Recent incidents include quad bikes being stolen. Items such as a trailer, tools and horse tack being taken in burglaries to homes and sheds and thefts from outbuildings and fields.

The activity is part of Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave, aimed at turning up the volume on crime and silencing opportunist criminals across the force.

At the start of June, officers visited 241 farms in rural parts of the county to give crime prevention advice and ensure there was adequate security in place so people didn’t fall victim to opportunist thieves.

And police are continuing to carry out extra patrols in rural areas such as Coquetdale and the Tyne Valley, as well as Alnwick and the surrounding areas.

Positive action is also being taken against offenders. Recent operations include the recovery of stolen horse tack in Tynedale on Tuesday, July 15, and the recovery of stolen property in Rothbury, linked to offences in Newcastle.

Police have seen some recent offenders receive prison sentences through the courts.

Brett Wight, 36, of no fixed address but previously of the west of Newcastle, was jailed for 60 months after burglaries in Tynedale.

Paul Donoghue, 48, of Stokesley Road in Northallerton, was jailed for six years and Gareth Huntingdon, 30, of Barnard Avenue in Ludworth, Durham, was jailed for 22 months for a series of burglaries in rural areas across the Northumbria, Cumbria, Durham, Cleveland and North Yorkshire areas.

Catherine Bird, 34, also of Stokesley Road, received two years, suspended for 24 months for handling stolen goods as part of the same investigation.

Residents and farm owners are being asked to ensure their homes, gardens and farmland is secure and nothing is left out to tempt passing thieves.

Those that weren’t part of the FarmWatch scheme were also asked to sign up. This allows officers to build up a better picture of what’s going on in the more rural areas, to share information quickly and to remain in constant contact with farmers, landowners and members of rural communities.

Superintendent Mick Paterson, of Northumberland Area Command, said: “We’re using a combination of tactics to take action against those involved in rural crime, and to prevent offences from happening in the first place.

“We’re committed to doing everything possible to ensure the county remains a safe place and it’s important we work closely with our partners and the community to make it difficult for criminals.

“I’d like to thank the support we continue to get from the local community in reporting information about suspicious activity and vehicles and I’d encourage them to continue to speak to their local officers.

“Rural Northumberland is a vast area and unfortunately thieves will travel long distances to look for opportunities to steal - such as sheds, homes and outbuildings left insecure or property such as tractors, trailers and quad bikes left unattended in field.

“It’s important residents, landowners and the farming community continue to help us and themselves by protecting their homes, businesses and properties from thieves.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird added: “I’m determined that Northumbria Police will continue to tackle rural crime and we’ll do everything within our powers to bring criminals to court.

“The police will continue to support those in rural communities to ensure their needs are being met and that communities remain safe.”

Further crime prevention advice is available via the Northumbria Police website,

People are urged to sign up with free property register, which means if property is stolen and later recovered it can be easily returned to the rightful owner, as well as potentially catching criminals in possession of stolen property.

Police can be contacted on 101 ext 69191, to report a crime ongoing dial 999.