Darlington police have issued a warning over a new kind of credit card theft.

Neighbourhood Watch groups in the area have received reports of thieves cutting open dustbin bags to obtain credit details from credit card slips.

They then use the credit account details of the customer to buy goods in shops.

Police advise that slips should be cut up, shredded or burnt, to prevent details being read by thieves.

Sergeant David Turner, of Darlington police, said: "People should be on their guard against this kind of thing at this time of year, because they are likely to be using their credit cards more to buy presents for Christmas.

"They should destroy credit cards and receipts once they are out of date.