POLICE are urging residents to take steps to secure their homes as part of a spring focus to tackle burglary.

Residential dwelling burglaries in the Thames Valley have fallen by 1.9 per cent overall between March 1, 2018 and February 28, 2019 (compared to the same period in the previous year) but the force says this should not encourage people to become complacent.

Head of Force Intelligence and Special Operations, Detective Chief Superintendent Richard List, said: “Burglary has a huge impact on victims. It’s not just the financial cost of having to replace items stolen, but the emotional impact of having a stranger violate your home.

“We find that people don’t often think about the effects of burglary until it happens to them, or someone they know. 

“The best way to review your security arrangements is to look at your property through the eyes of a burglar. Think about how you would you break in if you locked yourself out?

Below are some quick practical steps from police to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of burglary:

  • Keep doors and windows locked, even if you are just in the garden.
  • Store house, window and car keys away from windows and your letterbox.
  • Hide valuables so they can’t be seen from outside.
  • Mark your valuables with a UV pen or forensic marking kit as this will make it harder for thieves to sell the items.
  • Register valuables for free on the national property register at www.immobilise.com and bicycles at www.bikeregister.com.
  • Always lock sheds and garages to prevent access to tools that could be used to break into your home.
  • Trim back hedges and shrubs at the front of your property so that burglars have nowhere to hide.