POLICE chiefs are urging people getting set to jet off on their holidays to check their home security and entrust a neighbour to keep an eye on their property when they are away to help stop would-be burglars breaking in.
Both Staffordshire and Derbyshire Police have urged holidaymakers in Burton and South Derbyshire to ensure that they make their property looked lived in and reduce the possibility of crime.
People are being encouraged to do a security check well in advance of going away to make sure burglar and fire alarms are working, and, where necessary, fit locks and bolts to sheds and garden gates.
Ian Taberner, crime prevention officer for Staffordshire Police, said: “Asking a trusted neighbour, friend or relative to keep an eye on your property, draw and open curtains, switch lights on/off can make a property look lived in. It is a simple but very effective way of improving security.
“People could also use timer switches for a radio and lights in different rooms.
“Not keeping items on view by windows and leaving valuable items such as jewellery and laptops with a relative or friend can reduce the risk of them tempting a thief and being stolen.”
Other tips include:
l Mow your lawn and put all garden tools away;
l Ensure your shed and garage have good strong locks;
l Fit an inaccessible bolt to garden gates;
l Store bikes away or leave with a friend/relative; and
l Before you set off, make sure your garage, shed, windows and doors are locked and set your burglar alarm if you have one.
Mr Taberner added: “It is not only the cost of what has been stolen, but items of sentimental value can be priceless and irreplaceable to their owners.
“Being a victim of a burglary can have a long lasting affect on people, knowing someone has been in your home, with disregard to privacy and possessions.
“Taking these few measures could help keep property safe.”
This comes after police in Swadlincote revealed that nearly all burglaries came about due to people leaving windows or doors unlocked.
Special patrols were put in place to try and offer advice to people on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe.