POLICE officers across Lancashire are urging residents not to be left in the dark with their home security ahead of the clocks going back on Sunday 26 October.

The ‘Darker Nights’ campaign has been launched this week by Lancashire Constabulary as the days get shorter, and police are asking householders to check lighting and security and brush-up on good security habits.

The campaign forms part of Operation Julius, the countywide burglary crackdown focussed on preventing crime, targeting criminals and detecting burglaries.

Traditionally, there is a rise in burglaries in the winter period, especially in the run up to Christmas when people are buying festive gifts and burglars are aware that there are more valuables in the home.

Insecure 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.

The campaign gives advice about how people can protect their belongings and their property to reduce their chances of falling victim to burglary.

The advice being given to residents is:

Lock up: Always make sure your windows and doors are locked, including side gates. Don’t be an easy target – thieves will go elsewhere if they have to work hard to steal your stuff. Fit an alarm system, ensure it is activated and use strong locks on sheds, garages and other outbuildings.

Light up: Think about leaving a light on when you go out. Timers will turn lights on and off at pre-set times and consider fitting outdoor security lighting.

Keys safe: Put house and car keys away safely where they cannot be seen when not in use and well away from the doors they unlock.

Superintendent Damian Darcy, who is leading the campaign, said: “We know the negative impact burglary can have, not only to the victims but to the wider community. This campaign focuses on raising awareness about the high number of insecurities we see and encouraging residents to take steps to protect themselves.”

“With the dark nights upon us, now is an ideal time to double check security and lighting and make sure that your home is adequately protected.”

“It is disappointing to know that many of the burglaries reported could have been avoided through simple crime prevention measures. We need residents to work with us when it comes to combating crime and locking out thieves.”

“I would urge the public to follow our top tips, remain vigilant and if they spot anything suspicious, call us on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

For more crime prevention advice please visit www.lancashire.police.uk and to be kept informed about what’s happening in your area sign up to In The Know, the free messaging service by Lancashire Police at www.stayintheknow.co.uk

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