Do you know where your wheelie bin is tonight?

25 Oct 2016 09:21 AM

Wheelie bins [View Full Size]

Community Safety Partners in Sunderland and South Tyneside are offering advice on how to keep wheelie bin's safe from thieves and vandals.

The advice forms part of the Darker Nights campaign - an annual initiative that sees community safety partners across Sunderland and South Tyneside join forces to keep communities safe during darker nights. Once again, police are working in partnership with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and both Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council in the run up to Halloween and bonfire night.

During October and November police often see a rise in the number of wheelie bins stolen - the bins are often either stolen to transport bonfire material to set make illegal bonfires or simply stolen to be vandalised and set on fire.

Homeowners who have not taken reasonable care of their wheelie bin will have to pay for a replacement if it is lost, stolen or burned

Superintendent Sarah Pitt said: "People may wonder why we are issuing crime prevention advice for wheelie bins but unfortunately it is an issue, in particular at this time of year. We have seen bins stolen, vandalised and set on fire and in some cases we have even seen wheelie bin fires spread to sheds, garages and even houses causing considerable damage.

"Wheelie bins that have been left out in the street overnight are an easy target for thieves, they haven't even got to trespass onto someone else's property to steal - and if it is stolen if a homeowner has not taken reasonable care to secure the bin they will have to pay for a replacement, which will not only be an inconvenience but leave them out of pocket."


Assistant Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: "At this time of year we see an increase in opportunist fires involving wheelie bins and uncollected rubbish, which endangers property as well as the lives of local people and our firefighters.

"You can try to avoid the risks by bringing in your wheelie bin as soon as it has been emptied and ensuring waste is stored securely before being disposed of. It’s also hugely helpful to contact your local council if you notice any discarded items which could be set on fire or an illegal bonfire being built."

South Tyneside Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "As the darker nights close in, we would urge residents to make sure their bin is kept off the street and ideally out of sight.


"Failure to do so could result in them having their bin stolen, vandalised or burned and unfortunately they would then have to bear the cost of providing a new one. It only takes a minute to take your bin off the street, so I would advise all residents to keep their bin safe and secure it if at all possible."

Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership and Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Harry Trueman said "At this time of year when the hours of darkness are getting longer, it is always useful to remind people to take that little bit of extra care in and around their properties.

"Remembering to take in your wheelie-bin is a great example of that, we want to avoid anything which might encourage anti-social behaviour  of any kind. Leaving them out, there’s the risk they might be stolen  and even set on fire.

" Inconvenient for the householder and damaging for the community. so please remember  to look after your wheelie bins and keep them out of the  hands of the thieves and vandals.!"               

To help residents, police have issued some top tips to keep wheelie bins away from vandals.

1. Do not leave the bin in the street, in particular overnight.

2. If possible store the bin at the back of the house, or at the side, behind a locked gate - although make sure it is not stored under a window where it can be used as a leverage to access upstairs.

3. If the only place to store the bin is at the front of the house use a bike lock to attach it to a secure post - again make sure it is not under a window where it can be used as a leverage to upstairs.

4. If you are putting the bin out for collection - try and leave it until the last minute, if it has to go out the night before try and leave it as late as possible.

5. Bring the bin as soon as it has been emptied - if you know your neighbours are out at work all day, why not bring their bin in for them.

6. Mark you bin with your house number.

Police, fire officers and council workers will continue to carry out activity over the coming weeks to remove rubbish that could be set on fire, dismantle illegal fires, tackle anti-social behaviour and offer crime prevention advice.

Regular patrols will be carried out by police who will be on patrol in their local area to speak to local residents, offer reassurance, let them know what is going on and answer the concerns they may have.

View the full news release