Police officers across Lancashire are urging residents to lock up to keep burglars out in line with clocks going back on.
The advice comes as part of Operation Julius, the countywide burglary crackdown and due to nights going darker sooner in the run up to Christmas.
Traditionally, there is a rise in burglaries in the winter period, especially in the run up to Christmas as people are buying their festive gifts, which potential burglars are aware of.
Unsecured windows and doors are still a common factor, with around one in three burglaries taking place as a result of property that has been left open or not secured properly.
To avoid becoming a victim of burglary, residents are advised to follow the following crime prevention advice:
Lock up: Always make sure your windows and doors are locked, including side gates. Fit an alarm system, ensure it’s activated and add strong locks to sheds, garages and other outbuildings.
Keep it ‘safe’: Consider putting valuables in a secure safe.
Con the criminal: Think about leaving a light on when you go out. Timers will turn lights on and off at pre-set times.
Light up: Consider fitting outdoor security lighting.
Remove the means: After the autumn tidy in the garden make sure that all garden tools and equipment are locked away. Spades are a favourite of burglars who use them to force windows and patio doors.
Increase your chances of getting your property back: Security mark property using a permanent UV marker pen.
If your property is recovered, the police are more likely to be able to get it back to you.
For information on In the Know, or neighbourhood watch schemes in your area, visit www.lancashire.police.uk.