Fast-acting police officers have been praised following an arrest shortly after hearing of a would-be burglar being active in a residential area.

The suspect was arrested in the early hours of Friday (January 19) following a report of attempts to break into houses.

Police received a report of a male figure trying house door handles in the Preston area of North Shields, shortly after 3.30am.

Officers quickly arrived at the scene, but the suspect was not located in an initial search of the area.

The Northern Echo:

Patrol cars left, but an unmarked vehicle remained in situ with officers swooping when a young male matching the description of the suspect was spotted carrying a torch and gloves.

The suspect, aged 18, was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary and remains in police custody.

Speaking after the arrest, Detective Inspector Jude Scott, of Northumbria Police, said: “Burglary is an invasive crime which leaves residents feeling unsafe in their own homes.

“This was fantastic work from our officers to prevent any offences from potentially taking place.

“I’d like to thank the officers who trusted their gut instincts and remained in the area, allowing them to secure an arrest.

“I’d also like to extend a massive thanks to the member of the public who reported the activity to us in the first place and allowed us to take action.

“Residents rightly expect us to take attempted burglary reports seriously and to act before they can take place.

“I’m sure these are the exact results people want to see.”

The Northern Echo:

Det Insp Scott said: “As ever, I’d always ask residents and businesses in our communities to take an extra second to help us deter opportunistic burglars or thieves.”

She urged householders to be vigilant by making sure car and house doors are checked and windows are locked, with valuables kept out of sight.

“Criminals will often go street by street trying door handles in the hope that one is unlocked. 

“If they are locked, they simply move on to the next street, which is what we have seen in this case.

“Making those extra checks can help residents to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.

“By working together, we can maintain this positive momentum and ensure any would-be thieves are dealt with both swiftly and robustly.”

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Det Insp Scott added: “If you see anything suspicious in your community, please let us know.”

Anyone who has seen something suspicious in their area is asked to contact Northumbria Police via the ‘Report’ page of the force website, or by calling 101.

In an emergency, or if a crime is taking place, members of the public are always urged to call 999.