Homeowners urged not to fall victim to burglars as the nights draw in

27 Oct 2017 10:00 AM

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Northumbria Police is warning homeowners in South Tyneside and Sunderland not to fall victim to burglars as the clocks go back and the nights draw in.

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 the 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.

And, as the clocks go back this weekend and the nights start to get dark even earlier, police want to make sure burglars don't have an opportunity to commit crime under the cover of darkness.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Gosling said: "The overwhelming vast majority of burglaries happen because a door has been left unlocked and unbelievably this includes overnight and during the day when people are out, whether at work or they’ve just popped to the shops, which really is an open invitation for burglars.

“I can’t stress enough how much of a difference it could make to lock the front and back door, even when you are in the house. We say it time and time again but that’s because it is really important. Sophisticated security measures such as burglar alarms, CCTV, outdoor lighting are all great and act as an excellent deterrent but they are not going to be very effective if the door has been left unlocked and a burglar can just walk into the house without any effort at all.”

So far this year, more than 250 people have been arrested for burglary across Sunderland and South Tyneside and police are making sure more and more are being put behind bars. A dedicated team of detectives are solely focussed on investigating house burglaries, however, police would rather stop the burglaries from happening in the first place.

DCI Gosling added: “We have a dedicated team of detectives who are experts in investigating burglaries and use the latest methods, whether that be technology or forensics, to carry out a detailed investigation to not only catch the burglar and put them behind bars, but try and get back the things that have been stolen, especially if it is sentimental, and give it back to the owner. It would be ideal though, if these burglaries weren’t happening in the first place and, I believe, many can be avoided simply by locking the front or back door.

“As the clocks go back on the weekend it is a good opportunity for us to offer a timely reminder to our local residents of the important part they can play in helping prevent burglaries.”

South Tyneside Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "By working proactively with our partners during the Darker Nights campaign, we aim to help our residents avoid becoming victims of crime.

“With the clocks going back and the nights drawing in, this is the perfect time to encourage people to remember the basic safety rules and keep doors and windows locked."


View the full news release