POLICE have arrested 12 people and seized suspected stolen property and controlled drugs as part of an operation tackling burglary.

Officers carried out raids at five addresses across North Tyneside on Friday.

Addresses searched included: the Ocean Inn guest house, on South Parade, Whitley Bay, a mobile phone and computer repair shop on Whitley Road, plus addresses on Waterville Road, North Shields, Zetland Drive, in Whitley Bay and the West Road, in Newcastle.

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Kevin Cochrane, 29, of South Parade, Whitley Bay, has been charged with three burglaries, shoplifting and fraud by false representation. He was due to appear before North Tyneside Magistrates' Court today.

A 57-year-old man and 39-year-old woman, arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary, have been cautioned. Two men arrested for the same offence, aged 55 and 26, have been bailed pending further enquiries.

A 40-year-old man arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods has also been bailed.

Another six men arrested on suspicion to commit burglary will receive no further police action.

The activity forms part of Operation Soundwave - the forcewide campaign turning up the volume on acquisitive crime, including burglary, and silencing opportunist thieves.

North Tyneside Chief Inspector Jamie Pitt said: "These raids are part of an ongoing criminal investigation into those suspected of being involved in burglaries across the borough.

"As well burglary, our investigations have also looked at other associated offences such as handling stolen goods.

"I hope today's activity comes as reassurance to residents that we are doing what we can to target and apprehend those suspected of committing crime in the area.

"Burglary has a devastating affect on individuals and communities. People have the right to feel safe in their own home and being burgled is a dreadful invasion of privacy, not to mention the financial loss suffered by the victims.

"That's why we're committed to doing everything possible to take action against those believed to be involved in burglaries or crimes linked to it.

"We will continue to work alongside our partners to make sure we're doing all we can to tackle crime in our neighbourhoods. However, we'd also urge people to continue reporting any suspicious activity to us so we can have officers in the right place at the right time.

"Residents are also asked to follow crime prevention advice to keep their property safe. By taking some simple steps such as making sure windows are secure and doors are locked residents can reduce their risk of falling victim to a burglar."

Anyone with concerns in their neighbourhood can contact police on 101, extension 69191, is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Further crime prevention advice can be found on the Northumbria Police website, www.northumbria.police.uk