As the darker nights set in, police are reminding residents – don’t offer thieves a helping hand.
Operation Soundwave, aimed at silencing opportunist criminals and supported by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, sees officers targeting those suspected of being involved in crime in communities across the force area.
A key part of the operation also involves ensuring residents have the right crime-prevention advice. As the darker nights and mornings set in, police are advising residents to keep their property secure as opportunist thieves look to take advantage of insecure belongings. Advice includes: Ensuring windows and doors are always securely locked even when you’re at home; removing all valuables and keys from within easy reach of doors or windows where they can be easily taken; not leaving anything on display in your vehicle and always make sure it’s locked even if only leaving it for a short time; never leaving property like gardening equipment, tools and bikes unattended outside – store them in locked sheds or garages; taking care of your personal property, not leaving belongings like mobile phones, bikes, handbags and wallets unattended.
Officers will be out and about in communities delivering crime-prevention leaflets and will be speaking with residents when they see property left insecure. Residents are also urged to visit the Northumbria Police website where more in-depth crime-prevention advice is available to ensure people keep their property safe.
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: “We’re moving into the autumn and winter where opportunist thieves use the cover of darkness to seek out insecure property and vehicles. We know their tactics – they will walk along the street trying the doors to homes and vehicles for example or look for properties that don’t look secure – and we’re continuing to patrol specific areas and target those people we know are involved in this type of crime.
“And I’d like to reassure people that theft and burglary offences are down across the force this year, compared to last year. But it’s important people know how to keep their property safe.
“It’s vital people spend just a few minutes making sure their homes and vehicles are locked, they haven’t left anything insecure outside, and that they’ve considered security measures like outside lighting and an alarm. By taking a few simple steps, people can reduce their risk of falling victim to an opportunist thief or burglar.”
Vera Baird said: “Reducing crime and increasing community confidence are two of the objectives in my Police and Crime Plan and I know the force has been achieving success in helping to keep the numbers of burglaries and thefts down.
“I also know that while the police obviously have a big role to play in helping reduce crime, the public and our neighbourhoods have an equally big role to play in taking steps which help keep their homes and property safe from opportunist thieves. Together we are stronger against the minority in our communities who take any opportunity they are offered to steal our property.”
For more crime prevention advice, visit the Northumbria Police website.
People are encouraged to sign up with free national property register www.immobilise.com, which ensures if property is stolen and later recovered it can be returned to the rightful owner. It also makes it difficult for thieves to dispose of stolen property and profit from their crimes.
Residents are also urged to report anything unusual or suspicious they see in their community to police, anonymously if necessary, via 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.