Police patrols target back yard crooks

A CLEAN-up operation is under way to clear the borough’s back yards of unsightly rubbish, as well as deterring opportunist criminals.

The operation, a joint initiative by Northumbria Police and North Tyneside Council, aims to tidy up back lanes and reduce thefts of valuable property.

Officers from Wallsend’s neighbourhood policing team are carrying out extra patrols of back yards and lanes bordering rear gardens in response to a spate of crimes reported in the town centre.

Inspector David Guthrie, pictured, said: “Several thefts of bikes, motorcycles, garden tools and scrap metal have been reported after thieves gained access to back yards and gardens.

“Rear lanes are often the chosen escape route for criminals to use when they’ve stolen items, so we’re targeting these areas to prevent further crimes.

“We want to send a clear message to criminals that police are on patrol in these areas and they are targeting people who commit opportunist and casual theft.”

Officers are also offering crime prevention advice to householders who have left valuables on view in gardens and yards.

The council’s estate caretakers will tour back lanes, removing dumped rubbish, carrying out litter picks and getting rid of any graffiti they come across.