POLICE in Shildon are to examine recent crime trends after the number of criminal damage incidents in the town almost doubled in a month.

Statistics released by the police show that there were 31 criminal damage cases in December compared to 19 for November last year.

Sergeant Tim Kelly told Shildon Town councillors this week that criminal damage cases were hard to detect.

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He said the force was to look back over recent months to see if a trend in criminal damage cases could be spotted to help the police tackle the issue.

Sgt Kelly also advised residents not to leave valuables on show in parked cars.

He said some crimes could be committed by criminals walking round Shildon trying car handles to find one that was unlocked.

Shildon police is also keen for residents to notify it of anyone they suspect of growing cannabis as the force seeks to tackle the problem.

The crime detection rate for Shildon in December 2013 was 41 per cent compared to 39 per cent for the same period in 2012.