TWO men from Gravesend have been charged following a crackdown on burglary and theft offences across north Kent.

There was an increase in the number of call-outs to reports of break-ins often occurs in the period following Christmas, where thieves took advantage of the dark nights and high-value presents left on display.

Kent Police officers were prepared for this and carried out a number of both uniformed and covert operations to tackle criminals.

Lee Hutton, 28, of Montgomery Close, Gravesend, was charged on January 10 with two counts of receiving stolen goods in Gravesend.

He was charged on December 12 2013 with dishonestly received stolen goods, namely a Ford Mondeo and a Honda Accord car.

He was bailed to appear at court on 20 February.

Alan Osborne, 45, of Clifton Road, Gravesend, was charged on January 20 with three counts of making off without payment from a service station in London Road, Stone.

He was bailed to appear court on 24 February.

DCI Ann Lisseman, head of the burglary team in the north division, said: "While we can't go into detail around some of the work we do to catch burglars and thieves, the public should rest assured that we have detectives working on it night and day.

"Every report of this nature is taken extremely seriously and we have plans in place to bring more offenders to justice in the coming weeks.

"However, residents can take steps to protect themselves, too. Expensive items should be photographed and recorded, including serial numbers, to make them easier to trace if they are stolen.

"There are lots of highly recommended technological apps around that can add an extra layer of security to expensive possessions, too.

"For example, the Find My iPhone app has proven extremely useful when it comes to tracking down stolen smartphones and tablets."