Police patrols stepped up in Gateshead after Shabbat robberies


Following the jailing of two men for robbing Gateshead Jewish homes left unlocked on Shabbat, Northumbria police have announced increased security measures in the area.

David Fox and Patrick Chambers, who both gave their address as Durham Prison, pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to burgling four homes. The robberies took place over a 90-minute period in May.

The first Friday night break-in happened at around 9.15pm when a father found Chambers in his four-year-old daughter's bedroom while she was asleep. Chambers fled but went on to rob other properties with Fox. An 81-year-old woman was among the victims.

Chambers received a 20-month sentence. Fox was jailed for a year.

Northumbria police have now posted a dedicated officer to the area on Shabbat and increased patrols in an effort to deter criminals.

One of the burglars entered the bedroom of a four-year-old girl

Neighbourhood inspector Craig Metcalfe said: "We recognise the individual requirements of the very vast and diverse communities across Gateshead, including our Jewish communities.

"We work with local residents to ensure they feel and remain safe."

The Community Security Trust's Mark Gardner said it advised Jewish residents to ensure doors and windows were secure over Shabbat.

It also suggested that they keep items such as silver candlesticks out of view to passers by.

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