A SERIES of hard-hitting radio adverts will be broadcast throughout the region as part of a campaign targeting people's fear of crime.

The adverts, funded by the Home Office, will attempt to make people feel safer in their homes and communities.

The five-week series of adverts on Metro FM, Magic and TFM starts today and will reach more than a million adults.

In addition to the campaign, Metro Radio will use its website to collect information and responses to the campaign.

Information from responses will be used to put together an overall picture of "fear of crime" in the region and to identify local measures which could combat the problem.

Alan Brown, regional crime director for the North-East, said: "Fear of crime is a huge issue to address. Crime levels are dropping but people are still seriously afraid of becoming a victim of crime.

"This advertising campaign is one way of reassuring people that their local Crime and Disorder Partnerships are active in local communities by highlighting the pro-active work they do.

"We should not under-estimate the grip that fear can have on some people. Being afraid to leave your home or to venture too far from your own community has a restricting and demoralising effect on people."