Police are mounting a Christmas crackdown on burglars - and asking resident to do their bit to lock them out.
To combat opportunist raiders Northumbria Police are writing to known burglars to let them know they could see themselves spending the festive season behind bars.
Chief Inspector Jerry Pearson said: “We are working tirelessly to target burglars and have had some great results recently where prolific burglars have been put in jail but we are not complacent.
“Burglary has a huge impact on victims at any time of the year but especially in the run up to Christmas when gifts people have bought for their loved ones have been stolen and we are doing all we can to help prevent this from happening.
“Burglars, just like everyone else, will be looking forward to spending the festive season with family and friends but we’re warning them that, if they are caught in the run up to Christmas, they could find they are behind bars.”
Police say crime prevention plays a huge part in preventing burglaries and are also issuing crime prevention advice to help stop thieves.
Unlocked door are an open invitation and presents under the tree - if they are visible from the street - is another.
Ch Insp Pearson added: “We don’t want people to be fearful and think they are going to be targeted by burglars but we do want them to be mindful and take a few simple crime prevention measures to safeguard themselves from burglars.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “Burglary is an invasion of our homes. I would urge people 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.”