POLICE have been given a helping hand in their bid to keep burglars at bay by an unlikely ally – a parrot.
The bird was disturbed after a burglar got into its Wallsend home on Wednesday last week and called out, waking up its owner.
The bird’s owner then alerted the police, and a 32-year-old woman was arrested and later charged with burglary.
The arrest comes as police continue to target burglars across North Tyneside, making a dozen arrests over the last fortnight.
Five suspects have been charged, five of them bailed pending further inquiries and two released with no further action to be taken.
Officers arrested the suspects in connection with 16 house burglaries and attempted burglaries reported across the borough since Monday, August 22.
Detectives and uniformed officers are making preventing break-ins one of their top priorities in a bid to cut offences and reassure householders.
Temporary Detective Inspector Dave Watson said: “We know that house burglary is a crime which is upsetting for victims and causes distress.
“That is why we are doing all we can to prevent crime and tackle offenders effectively.
“At one incident last week, the offender disturbed the occupant’s parrot, which woke the victim, resulting in a woman being charged with burglary.
“Sometimes assistance comes in the strangest forms.
“Other more conventional policing methods are being used to send a clear message to burglars that we will monitor your behaviour, we will watch you and we will bring any offenders to justice.
“Officers are carrying out extra patrols in areas where burglaries have been reported in order to deter further offences.
“Officers have also been giving crime prevention advice to residents and reminding them to keep their homes locked securely.
“Many of these crimes are opportunist and could be prevented by simply locking homes, especially overnight.
“Officers are carrying out thorough investigations of all house burglaries and ensuring that all opportunities for gathering forensic evidence are used.”
Those arrested in connection with the recent burglaries are being visited by police and North Tyneside Council’s safer estates team and warned that their tenancies could be at risk or they could face anti-social behaviour injunctions.
Acting Chief Inspector Pam Bridges, pictured, added: “We are taking a tough line on offenders targeting those who commit burglary.”