Police have made 20 arrests in a series of raids in South Tyneside and Sunderland.
The raids involved an investigation into a range of crimes including shoplifting, criminal damage and grievous bodily harm.
Police say the 18 men and two women are all currently in custody helping with inquiries.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “I welcome yesterday’s activity by officers.
“I hope residents are reassured by this and can see Northumbria Police’s commitment to reducing crime and arresting those responsible for it.
“Residents are encouraged to report anything suspicious to police straight away so they can investigate. Police can be called on 101, or to report a crime ongoing dial 999.”