EXTRA funding and successful partnership working by police in north Northumberland resulted in a reduction of crime over the festive period.
Berwick, Wooler and Seahouses police worked hard throughout Christmas and the New Year to keep residents safe and local areas as crime-free as possible.
Extra funding was provided to help with the increased demands around retail crime, anti social behaviour and crime related to alcohol consumption.
Uniformed police foot patrols were provided on key dates, whilst Northumberland County Council licensing officers joined police officers on visits to licensed premises; making sure that they were operating legally.
Shop watch and pub watch members worked closely with the police to share information about individuals linked to crime and disorder, using a radio network to warn other members and the police about suspicious customers.
The extra funding and partnership working to combat crime proved successful, with the number of crimes down on the same period in recent years.
Inspector Davy Garrick said: “Shoplifting and damage to property usually increase over the festive season, but this year figures are down.
“The numbers of assaults usually increase as well and this year they are on a par with previous years, but I am pleased to report that there was a reduction in the severity of assaults.”
He said that the reductions in violence had been achieved by having police officers on the streets, ready to intervene early and prevent disputes from escalating into serious assaults.
“Looking forward in 2013 we intend to maintain our focus on the issues which are raised by our communities,” Inspector Garrick said. “The most common issue is anti social behaviour which can develop into crimes including assault and damage to property.
“Speeding is also a concern in many parts of the region, and we will monitor and manage speeding at numerous sites throughout the year.
“We will continue to tackle these and other issues which affect our communities,” he added.