AS ace detectives go, it’s unlikely to ruffle too many villains’ feathers.

But one North-East police team has signed up a crime-fighting pink pigeon as a light-hearted way of preserving law and order.

The pigeon - with its distinctive shocking pink plumage – was spotted soaring across the skies above Darlington last week.

Its appearance got ornithologists’ curtains twitching and gained national attention.

The bird, named Molly by a local child, certainly caught the imagination of police in Darlington.

Officers posted a message on the Darlington Neighbourhood Police Teams Facebook page on Monday (March 3), depicting the pigeon giving crime prevention advice.

The post, which has received dozens of likes, features a photograph of the bird and a thought bubble showing the pigeon thinking: “Pink Pigeon says remember to lock your car doors.”

In explaining the post, an officer wrote on the page: “Following our pink pigeon sighting, we thought we would give some crime prevention advice in a fun way.

“Over the weekend there has been a number of insecure cars broken into and property taken.”

Most social media users appear to have taken the post in the light-hearted manner it was obviously intended.

But an earlier post, featuring a blue pigeon, likely to have been computer-generated, received a few grumpy comments along the lines of ‘police should be doing their jobs, not posting messages about pigeons on Facebook’.

Whatever your take on the Great Pink Pigeon of Darlo, it has certainly proved a squawking point.