BURGLARY and car crime have fallen in Washington.

Police carried out a crime prevention scheme in partnership with Sunderland Housing Group and the Galleries shopping centre.

During the operation, which took place in December and last month, house burglaries fell from 179 to 78 a month. There were more than 30 arrests for burglary and handling stolen goods.

PC Joe Watson said: "We concentrated on preventing crime by advising residents to take simple but sensible precautions, and worked with security staff at busy shopping areas to help prevent cars being broken into or stolen.

"Extra patrols by police and security staff at the Galleries had a dramatic effect.

"There were no reports of theft from vehicles between Christmas Eve and mid-January, despite it being a busy time for retailers."