Criminals’ cash funds alarms

WARNING TO BURGLARS: Supt Kerrin Smith and Sgt Jim Peel fixing an alarm to Shotton Colliery resident Stephen Williams' shed after it was broken into, the security equipment is paid for by criminals

WARNING TO BURGLARS: Supt Kerrin Smith and Sgt Jim Peel fixing an alarm to Shotton Colliery resident Stephen Williams' shed after it was broken into, the security equipment is paid for by criminals

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CASH clawed back from crooks has been used to protect residents from becoming victims of crime.

Money seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) is being used to buy alarms and non-turnable screws to protect garden sheds in East Durham after a spate of burglaries in Shotton, Horden and Wheatley Hill.

The money was secured by the East Durham Safer Neighbourhood Unit.

Among those to benefit were Stephen and Susan Williams, of Shotton Colliery, who had a POCA-funded shed alarm fitted after Stephen’s bike was recently stolen from the shed despite it being protected with a padlock.

Sergeant Tracey Whelan, of Peterlee Police’s community safety team, said: “We have made great strides in reducing shed burglaries across the east locality but there tends to be a seasonal rise in the number of sheds and outbuildings broken into during the summer months.”

Superintendent Kerrin Smith, of Durham Police’s neighbourhoods unit, said: “Many of the decent people I speak to are totally appalled when they see criminals driving around in flash cars and living off the proceeds of crime. I would urge you to contact the police or Crimestoppers if you have any information about criminal activities, that way we can ensure crime doesn’t pay.”