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As the clocks go back this weekend (Sunday, 27 October) and the nights draw in Merseyside Police is taking the opportunity to give advice to members of the public to help stop them falling victim to crime.

Most domestic burglaries have no forced entry, and the burglar simply walks in through an unlocked door or climbs through an open window. It only takes a few minutes for burglars to sneak into your home and steal your belongings and they will look to identify an easy target.

Superintendent Chris Markey, said: “The shorter days mean people’s houses are left in darkness for longer and can give criminals the opportunity to break in, knowing someone isn’t in. However you can make life as difficult as possible for them by making your home anything but an easy target.

“Improving security features like locks and alarms, and making sure your house always looks occupied can make a big difference. All people need to do is pick up the phone and call us on 101 and ask to speak to their neighbourhood team and we will offer them all the help we can.

“Police community support officers from across the Force will be continuing to run Operation Handle, an initiative aimed at reducing the number of people who fail to lock their UPVC doors properly.

“People not locking their UPVC doors remains a big problem as it is giving criminals far too easy a ride. Opportunists can try dozens of handles in a street and, at the minute, it won’t be long before they find one that opens.

“Often people are either forgetting to both push the handle up as well as turn the key, or they are leaving it unlocked while round at a neighbour’s or elsewhere in the house. Operation Handle aims to highlight just how vulnerable that can leave your property.

“Officers will be continuing to go from house to house trying people’s handles and speaking to those who leave their doors open about the risks. Hopefully they will appreciate that it could have been a burglar in their home instead of the police.”
 If you have any concerns or issues you would like to speak to us about then please call us on 101 and ask to speak to your local neighbourhood team. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can obtain more crime prevention advice by contacting your local neighbourhood team or by visiting

So to help keep homes safe this winter take heed of the following advice:

• Don’t advertise new items you may have bought such as electrical equipment to people by leaving the empty boxes outside your home. Try to dispose of the packaging carefully by taking it to a recycling centre or keep it out of sight until the day your rubbish is collected

• All your valuable property should be marked with a UV pen and you should keep a record of the serial numbers. This can help make it easier for you to be reunited with your property if you are the victim of a burglary and the items are recovered

• During the dark nights, use a light timing device to switch the lights on (ensuring your blinds/curtains are drawn)

• Don’t leave your car keys on display (on window ledges/worktops) and don’t leave them by your door/windows etc

• Always lock your windows and doors. If you haven’t got windows locks, you are advised to get window locks fitted. If you have window locks – use them

• Don’t leave your keys in the back of the door lock

• Always check your front and back door are secure even if you are in, burglaries can often occur via insecure back doors whilst residents are at home watching television

• Secure your shed and garage properly. Don’t leave tools lying around

• Security mark all your home and garden equipment with full postcode using a UV marker pen or permanent marker. This can help make it easier for victims to be reunited with your property if you are the victim of a burglary and the items are recovered

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