Vera Baird

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Burglary Crackdown Supported by Vera Baird QC

16th December 2016

Burglars across the North East are set to receive a letter from Northumbria Police as part of a crackdown on burglary in the run up to Christmas.

The letter informs the recipient that, due to previous convictions, they have been identified as a potential burglar. It recognises there may be factors contributing towards their behaviour, such as alcohol or drug abuse, and offers the option to be referred to support agencies.

However, the letter warns the individual if they refuse help or won’t accept their criminal behaviour needs to change, and they continue to be involved in burglary, police will use every available resource to pursue them to prevent further burglaries.

And, officers will seek to have anyone arrested for burglary remanded in custody to protect and safeguard local communities.

Chief Inspector Jerry Pearson said: “Tackling burglary very much lies at the root of the issue and that is preventing people from committing the offences in the first instance. We know there can be factors contributing towards an individuals criminal behaviour, such as alcohol or drug dependency and it can become a vicious circle. The purpose of this letter is to let these individuals know there is support available to help them change their behaviour and help to get them out of the cycle.

“But if they choose not to get help and continue to be involved in burglary we will be left with no option other than to use every available resource to target and disrupt their activity. If they are arrested for burglary we will seek to have them remanded in custody, which with Christmas only a few weeks away, could see them spending the festive season away from their family and friends.

“Burglary, in particular house burglary, has a devastating affect on victims and something we take incredibly seriously, we won’t tolerate criminality of this nature in our communities and will do all we can to stop it from happening.”

Police also want to remind people of the simple crime prevention measures they can take to help put burglars off.

Ch Insp Pearson added: “Unfortunately, burglars prey on easy opportunities and an unlocked front door is an invitation to them, those who are desperate to steal will not think twice about trying the front door and if its open letting themselves into the property – even in broad daylight.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, Vera Baird QC, said: “Burglary is an invasion of our home and it’s right that Northumbria Police do everything possible to catch those responsible.

“Reducing crime such as this is one of the priorities in my police and crime plan and I will continue to ensure that Northumbria Police is taking positive action to tackle these matters head on.

“I would urge members of the public to continue working with their local police officers to report anything which seems out of the ordinary and take on board the crime prevention advice – it can make a big difference in helping make our neighbourhoods safer places to live.

“If you do find you have become a victim you can contact Victims First Northumbria for support.”

Crime prevention advice in the run up to Christmas includes:

– Lock doors both, front and back, even if you are in the property and especially at night.

– Don’t leave presents under the Christmas tree that can be seen from the street.

– Be mindful when you are taking gifts into the house from the car, try and cover them as much as possible.

– Don’t store valuable Christmas gifts in an insecure garage, shed or outbuilding.

– Once Christmas presents have been opened be mindful of how the box it came in is disposed of. Leaving the box of an expensive TV by the bin is an open advert to burglars there is a brand new state of the art TV in the house.