Tackling thieves and burglars

13 Feb 2015 14:33 PM

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Police are urging people to secure their cars and homes after reports of thefts and burglaries in Gateshead.

Since last weekend there has been reports of burglaries in Whickham, Birtley and Swalwell where doors have been left unlocked, and thefts from unlocked cars where property has been left on show.

Police are urging residents and motorists to take steps to secure their property as part of the forcewide Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling thieves and burglars across the force and promoting crime prevention advice to residents.

Gateshead Area Command Inspector Colin Lowther said: "We're carrying out extra patrols in these areas after reports of thefts and burglaries, as well as targeting those suspected of being involved.

"It's important people have crime prevention advice to keep their property safe as many of these crimes have happened after homes and cars have been left insecure.

"I'd urge people to make sure cars are locked and anything valuable like sat navs and mobile phones are removed from the vehicle altogether or if that's not possible then make sure they are out of sight in the boot.

"And taking a few moments to make sure doors are locked and nothing of value - including car keys - are left within reach of doors and windows is important as opportunist burglars will look for vulnerable properties."

Other advice includes making the house look occupied by leaving a light on if you go out, and considering installing an alarm, CCTV or outdoor security lighting can make a difference.

Motorists should park in secure, well lit areas and always make sure it's locked, even if leaving it just for a few minutes.

For more crime prevention information visit, while people are urged to sign up to free property register Immobilise at

It's also vital residents report anything suspicious to police straight away so they can investigate. Police can be called on 101, or to report a crime ongoing dial 999.