POLICE are urging residents not to give an open invitation to purse and wallet thieves when out and about.
Officers are reminding people to be vigilant and to keep all valuables hidden from view when working, shopping or relaxing, even in warm weather.
Morpeth Neighbourhood Inspector Alison Best said: “We are reminding residents to take a common sense approach to looking after their purses and wallets.
“Please don’t leave your valuables lying on top of open bags where opportunist thieves can easily steal them.
“Always keep your bag securely closed and keep it with you at all times when out, whether at the shops or in libraries, cafes or bars, not simply slung over the back of a chair out of your sight.
“It only takes a few seconds for a thief to steal these possessions if they’re not kept safe.”
At the same time, householders are being advised to beat the burglars this summer by locking windows and doors overnight and when leaving their homes.
Insp Best said: “Burglars and opportunistic thieves see situations where doors and windows aren’t secure as easy pickings and the chance to commit a quick crime. They can be in and out of your house in minutes.
“If you leave the house then lock your doors and windows, even if you are in the house get into the routine of locking windows and doors and help us to stop thieves in the area.”
People are also asked to immediately report any suspicious behaviour in their neighbourhood to police.