POLICE are stepping up their patrols in North Tyneside and have arrested more than 20 suspects in an effort to prevent house burglaries.
Over recent weeks, almost half of burglaries reported in the borough have been committed by offenders getting in through unlocked doors, so officers are reminding residents to keep their homes secure at all times.
Detective Chief Inspector Max Black said: “We really need to get the message across that burglars do target unlocked homes.
“Now that the nicer weather is here and many people will be enjoying time in the garden, it’s particularly important to make sure they don’t leave their front or back door unlocked, and this applies even when they’re in the house.
“A few seconds is all it takes for an opportunist burglar to try an unlocked door or push open a window left ajar and get into a home.
“Thieves will then help themselves to any portable and valuables items, including laptops, mobiles, MP3 players, cash and jewellery. Don’t make it easy for them. Protect your home by keeping it locked.”
Officers are patrolling on foot in neighbourhoods already targeted by burglars and delivering crime prevention leaflets.
Research reveals that more than half the burglaries reported in the borough are carried out in daylight, between 6am and 7pm, so police are warning householders to be on their guard then and not assume that thieves will wait until after dark to strike.
Det Ch Insp Black added: “We’re asking residents to report any suspicious behaviour to police straight away.
“If you see someone acting suspiciously, trying several door handles, please call us. A swift response could help officers catch those responsible.
“Officers are also targeting offenders and have made more than 20 arrests for burglary. Ten of these people have been remanded in jail.
“In other cases, officers are continuing to ask for stringent bail conditions, and curfews are being enforced by officer visits.
“Every burglary is being investigated by detectives and forensically examined to gain evidence on suspects.
“Tackling burglary is a priority for officers in North Tyneside, and we are committed to putting burglars in jail, where they belong, and protecting the public.”
To report any suspicious activity to the police, call 03456 043043 ext 69191.