Residents have been urged to keep their wheelie bins out of the way of vandals as November 5 approaches.
Police are reminding residents across Sunderland and South Tyneside to put away the containers in the run up to bonfire night.
We can’t allow the mindless actions of a minority disrupt life in our communities.Chairman of the Safer Sunderland Partnership and deputy leader of Sunderland City Council Councillor Harry Trueman
The reminder forms part of the 2015 Darker Nights campaign - aimed at making people feel safer as the nights draw in and evenings become darker particularly in the run up to bonfire night.
Wheelie bins often become an easy target for vandals who set them on fire, use the contents to start a fire or even steal them.
Officers are urging residents to only put their bin out the night before collection - or if possible not until the morning of collection - and to bring it in as soon as it has been emptied, or ask a neighbour to take it in.
Southern Area Command Communities Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt said: “One of the main issues we have around this time of year is wheelie bins being set on fire or stolen after being left out in the street, by simply taking them in and storing them somewhere safe could potentially help prevent this from happening.”
In the run up to bonfire night in a joint operation with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service led by Sunderland City Council’s Responsive Local Services, officers supported by Police Cadets, Fire Service volunteers and Special Constables, will deliver leaflets to residents to remind them not to leave their bin out.
In the run up to bonfire night officers, supported by Volunteer Police Cadets and Special Constables, will be delivering leaflets to residents to remind them not to leave their bin out.
Extra patrols will also be carried out targeting those involved in anti-social behaviour and damaging wheelie bins.
Ch Insp Pitt added: “We will target vandals damaging wheelie bins - setting a bin on fire is criminal damage and we will take the appropriate action against those who are involved.
“Over the coming weeks we will also be working with Tyne and Wear Fire Service and the two local authorities to distribute leaflets to residents in Southern Area Command with advice on how to avoid falling victim to this type of vandalism.”
Chairman of the Safer Sunderland Partnership and deputy leader of Sunderland City Council Councillor Harry Trueman said: “We can’t allow the mindless actions of a minority disrupt life in our communities.
“Working together we can prevent this type of anti-social behaviour, by making sure wheelie-bins aren’t left out too long in the streets giving the vandals the opportunity to steal or set them on fire.”