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Festive crime crackdown leads to 24 arrests in three days

Police launch Operation Sleigh ahead of Christmas. Detective chief inspector Lee Gosling
Police launch Operation Sleigh ahead of Christmas. Detective chief inspector Lee Gosling

A festive crime crackdown has led to a string of arrests within days of its launch.

Operation Sleigh was set up by Northumbria Police to warn would-be hoping to cash in on Christmas by breaking into people’s home that they won’t get away with it.

Operation Sleigh

Operation Sleigh

As part of the crackdown, suspected criminals are being visited by officers, who are personally hand-delivering Christmas cards - with a warning they have them in their sights.

The operation was launched on Friday across Sunderland and South Tyneside and has so far led to 24 arrests for a range of offences including theft, aggravated burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, and fraud by false representation.

Two people also attended a police station voluntarily in relation to an aggravated burglary.

Of those arrested, four have since been charged by police and will appear in court.

This is only the start of the campaign and we will continue to proactively target suspected burglars and make arrests.

DCI Lee Gosling

Paul Robinson, 39, of Pensher Street, in Sunderland, has been charged with burglary; Michael Hazard, 36, of no fixed abode, has been charged with burglary and Gavin Newton, 38, Northcote Avenue, in Sunderland, has been charged with theft and Antoni Adama, 29, of Collingwood Court, Sulgrave, has been charged with burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and fraud by false representation.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Gosling said: “We’re really pleased with the success of Operation Sleigh so far, on the first day alone we made 11 arrests with 24 arrests throughout the weekend which is fantastic. This is only the start of the campaign and we will continue to proactively target suspected burglars and make arrests.”

In the run-up to Christmas, police will be out and about visiting second-hand stores to remind owners of their responsibilities when taking in items.

Residents are also being asked to help police combat the burglars by ensuring doors and windows are locked and presents are not left in view, through house windows, to people passing by.

Police launch Operation Sleigh ahead of Christmas.'Detective chief inspector Lee Gosling

Police launch Operation Sleigh ahead of Christmas.'Detective chief inspector Lee Gosling

Motorists are also being reminded not to leave goods on show in cars, as it could prove too much for an opportunist thief to resist, and to double check that the doors are locked whenever they leave vehicles unattended.

For more crime prevention advice, visit www.northumbria.police.uk.