Officers are issuing a warning to residents to be vigilant following an increase in boat thefts in the rural areas of the region.
In recent months, officers have seen a rise in the number of boat engines being stolen from harbours, riverbanks, and coastal fishing communities across Northumberland.
Areas including Beadnell, Seaton Sluice, Alnwick, Boulmer, and Berwick have seen an increase in reports of boat-related thefts, with opportunist thieves often targeting vessels which may have been moored in unsecured locations such as open harbours or along riverbanks.
Officers are today (Thursday) calling on boat owners and those in local fishing communities to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.
Detective Inspector Jon May, of Northumbria Police, said: “Members of the public should make sure that, where they can, boats are left in secure moorings, ideally equipped with CCTV, to make sure these vessels are protected.
“We have seen a rise in reports amongst very small rural communities – but I want those communities to know we are aware of this trend and are here to help.
“Boats, boat motors, and fishing equipment are not only valuable, but an integral part of the infrastructure amongst rural Northumberland so it’s extremely important we work together to ensure people’s livelihoods are protected.
“Most of the time, crimes such as these take place under the cover of night, with offenders mostly using vans to transport their haul – so these are the signs I’d like people to be looking out for, as well as anything which doesn’t look or feel right.”
Det Insp May added: “We will be conducting increased patrols around the affected areas and those we believe may be targeted, as well as engaging with local residents and fishing communities to offer preventative advice.
“We’re really reliant on public to be our eyes and ears – especially in small towns and villages – and would urge anyone who sees anything suspicious, particularly people showing interest in or tampering with boats and areas of moorings, to contact police and report it.
“Your information really helps us to build a bigger picture of exactly what is happening in your area so, even if you think it might be nothing, let us know.”
Anyone with concerns around suspected offending can report suspicious behaviour or activity to police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101.
In an emergency, always call 999.