Lighter nights are creeping in - don't let thieves do the same, warn police
Residents are being urged to take steps to protect their home as the lighter nights - which historically bring more burglaries - arrive.
With the onset of lighter nights and warmer weather, there is historically a rise in offences where burglars sneak in through open doors and windows. While extra patrols are taking place across North Tyneside and Northumberland where offences have taken place, police are also ensuring residents have crime-prevention advice to help officers crack down on burglars this spring.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: "The lighter evenings often coincide with an increase in crimes such as burglary and this advice from police is a timely reminder to everyone to make sure we do not give burglars any easy opportunities. I have ensured that Northumbria Police has been proactive in tackling burglary and will continue to work hard to make sure our officers continue to treat these issues as priority, working closely with the local community to help prevent these crimes and catching those responsible so they can be put before the courts."
Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Pitt said : "While activity continues across the force to deter and target thieves, it's important residents take steps to help prevent themselves from becoming a victim of burglary. With the onset of lighter nights, thieves will be looking to take advantage of the fact more people are spending time outdoors and may leave doors and windows open as the weather starts to warm up.
"But this does present an open invitation to thieves. It can only take a second for a thief to come through an open window or door which will be all the more attractive to them if small, easily-taken items are left on show, such as a laptop, jewellery or keys left on a bench or window sill. Sometimes the costs can run even higher if car keys are stolen with thieves making off in the vehicle. By taking a few minutes to make sure property is secure, it can save a lot of anger and frustration."
Residents are urged to take simple steps such as locking doors, even when in another part of the house or garden, and investing in a timer switch for later in the night when it gets dark. Security measures such as CCTV, security lights and an alarm also deter thieves.
Police are also encouraging people to register valuable items on the national property register database Immobilise - www.immobilise.com The site is free to use and means any items recovered by police can be checked on the site, the owner identified and the property returned to them. It also helps police arrest those responsible for these thefts.
Residents are also urged to continue to report suspicious activity to police. People can contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. To report an ongoing crime, dial 999. For further crime-prevention advice, visit the Northumbria Police website.