Police caught and arrested 21 of the North East’s most wanted fugitives in one week.
They tracked down 21 of the most wanted faces across Wearside and South Tyneside – including 11 in a single day.
Suspects were arrested and interviewed on suspicion of a range of offences including burglary, arson, stalking and the importation of controlled drugs.
Chief Inspector Paul Walters said: “After what is always a busy Christmas period it was important for us to get 2021 off to a quick start in terms of locating many of our long-term wanted suspects who were attempting to evade police.
“That’s exactly what happened last week – and many of the faces who have decorated the walls of our police stations for some time found themselves locked up in a custody cell.
“Arresting 21 of our most sought-after fugitives within a single week is an absolutely excellent effort by our response teams who coordinated these strikes on suspects who had seemingly gone to ground.
“Eleven of those high-priority suspects were locked up within a single day – something that is even more impressive given the busy week we encountered with over 180 arrests in total across Sunderland and South Tyneside last week alone.
“I would like to thank all those involved in this outstanding example of proactive policing and hope it sends a strong message out to the communities we serve.
“We will continue to detect and disrupt crime, locate suspected criminals and use every tactic at our disposal to ultimately bring them to justice.”
Among those detained was a 45-year-old man from South Shields wanted in connection with a burglary in November.
He has since been charged with a number of offences including burglary, affray, criminal damage and assaulting an emergency worker and is due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court next month.
A 27-year-old man was also arrested in connection with a fire at a home in Washington, and has since been charged with arson and breaching a restraining order.
Meanwhile a 40-year-old man is back behind bars after breaching the terms of his license, a 41-year-old man is due in court after breaching a domestic violence protection order, while a 26-year-old man was convicted of a string of thefts across South Tyneside.
A number of others were either released under investigation or on police bail with enquiries ongoing into the offences.
Chief Insp Walters added: “This was just the start and over the coming weeks we will look to maintain this momentum.
“If you choose to commit a crime, you can expect us to turn up at your door and you will face the consequences of those actions.”