DARKER nights are here and West Midlands Police are encouraging residents to take action to secure their homes.
Simple tips include:
- Using a timer switch for lights. These are inexpensive and mean homes are not left in darkness to alert burglars to an empty property.
- Using door and window locks, even when someone is at home.
- Cancelling newspapers and milk if the property is left unoccupied for a few days.
- Keeping your shed and garage locked - your tools could be used to break into your home
- Neighbourhood Watch is an effective way to keep your home and community safer. You can find details of how to join or set up a scheme from the partnerships officer at your local station.
Sergeant Andy Gregory, from West Midlands Police, said: "Many people will now be returning home from work in the dark and often forget to leave a light on, making it obvious to a potential burglar that the property is probably unoccupied.
“Homeowners should consider buying timer switches which are widely available and only a couple of pounds. Windows should always be closed and locked and, where available, house alarms set.
"Traditionally the number of burglary offences rises in the winter and we want residents to think about how they can help themselves by taking a few simple measures."
The burglary initiative comes at a time when West Midlands Police is showing a large reduction in house burglary. Since April 2011 there have been almost 3,000 fewer victims of break-ins compared to the same period last year.
Check how secure your home is by taking a tour of our interactive home.