Police warning after 400% increase in burglaries in Hebburn

Police are warning people to be more vigilant after a 400% increase in burglaries in a South Tyneside community.

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 11:52 am

Northumbria Police officers say the ‘massive increase’ in the crime over July and August could have been prevented if families took more care to keep doors and windows locked.

Speaking at a meeting of Hebburn Community Area Forum (CAF), Sgt Claire Fada revealed numbers had leapt by more than 400% in the area.

“I cannot impress enough the importance of crime prevention,” she said. “We’ve had, in Hebburn, a massive increase in burglaries since the last CAF meeting (in July 2019), where we had had two or three.

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Stock picture of a burglary as police warn of a 400% increase in the crime.

“Since the last meeting, we’ve had 17 reported across residential and commercial properties, as well as lock-ups and garages.

“But 98% of those were avoidable because they have basically been ‘sneak-ins’, where there has been individuals out all hours trying windows and doors.”

In one incident a thief snatched a bag after reaching through an open window, although Sgt also revealed one possible suspect in a separate incident had been identified when an officer was able to recognise part of a tattoo in some CCTV footage.

Police often warn the summer months see an increase in the number of burglaries, with opportunist thieves taking advantage of home owners and others who leave windows and doors open in hot weather or garages and sheds unlocked following garden work.

The public are advised to not leave keys or other valuables, such as phones or laptop chargers, out of sight.

On its website, Northumbria Police states: “Most burglaries are opportunist - criminals watch out for houses they think are unprotected in some way. Don’t make it easy for thieves to target your home.”

The force offers a number of tips on its website with simple steps to make homes safer.

These include basics such as keeping windows and doors locked, to how to ward against distraction burglary.