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Police warning to stay secure in lighter nights
The start of Spring on Tuesday and the clocks going forward this weekend mark not only the start of better weather but also a potential increase in burglars targeting insecure homes through open doors and windows warns Greater Manchester Police.
Officers say that though burglary is still on the decrease people can help bring it down further by ensuring they lock all doors and windows even when they are at home. Including security improvements on their home and garden to-do list this spring will also help to keep burglars at bay they say.
Latest figures show there were 15 per cent fewer burglaries in Greater Manchester in the 12 months to the end of February this year compared to the same period last year equating to almost 2,500 fewer victims.
Police are keen to continue to drive down burglaries and advise that by making a few improvements to home, garage, shed and garden security people can greatly reduce their chances of losing valuables to heartless thieves and save themselves from the pain of this distressing crime.
Deterrents to burglars include alarms, locks, lights and vigilant communities that watch out for each other.
Residents are advised to fit a quality household alarm that protects all external doors and downstairs rooms and to be sure to set it when leaving the home empty or retiring for the night.
Mortise locks on external doors and window locks help to keep burglars out but only if doors and windows are kept shut and locked even when you are in. Police say that around one in three burglaries are down to thieves entering through insecure doors and windows and just walking out with valuables.
External security lighting will also help keep burglars at bay as will planting prickly borders on the edge of your property making it difficult for intruders to climb over walls and fences.
Garages and sheds can also be targeted by thieves and often contain hundreds of pounds worth of tools and bikes yet are only protected with a cheap padlock. Fitting a quality hasp and staple secured with a stout padlock will help keep them safe from criminals.
Officers also urge residents to be vigilant for people behaving suspiciously in their community, to watch out for their neighbours and to join or set up a local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan who leads GMP's fight against burglars, robbers and thieves said: "We are very aware that for most people their home is their pride and joy, the place that they value most and feel safest.
"Over the last year we have worked hard to keep homes safe from burglars by targeting offenders in their own homes, on the streets and in their communities.
"Householders can help us by installing and using alarms, locks and security lights to keep burglars out of their homes and their possessions safe.
"They can also help by reporting suspicious behaviour to us either directly on 101 the new single non emergency number or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
Information on your neighbourhood policing team is available on http://www.gmp.police.uk/ and you can also follow Greater Manchester Police on Twitter @gmpolice.