Nottinghamshire Police are urging homeowners to review their security as the clocks go back this weekend and the nights get darker earlier.
The clocks go back an hour at 2am on Sunday (27 October 2019).
The force is aiming to prevent a rise in burglaries during the darker autumn and winter months by reminding residents to check their security and make it as difficult as possible for burglars by taking a few simple precautions.
Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Broadhead, Nottinghamshire Police’s lead for burglary, said: "Burglars are often opportunistic thieves, looking for the easiest way of getting into your home without being seen or disturbed.
"They won’t think twice about capitalising on dark mornings and evenings to carry out their crimes under the cover of darkness.
"Many burglaries happen because a door or window has been left unlocked, which is really an open invitation for burglars.
"We can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure your front and back doors and your windows are kept locked, even when you’re in the house.
"There are also steps people can take to remove the temptation for burglars by keeping possessions out of sight and making it seem like someone’s at home."
Some simple crime prevention tips for your home include:
* Make sure that all of your door and window locks are working properly and ensure that doors and windows are locked at all times.
* If you’re out all day use a timer switch to operate the lights to make it look like someone is at home. Change the times that the lights come on to simulate an occupied home. Drawing the curtains or closing blinds, preventing people from looking into your home, can also help make a difference.
* Make sure your front door is well lit. Use dusk to dawn lighting that automatically comes on as it gets dark.
* Don't open your door unless you know who it is - use a door spy hole or door chain.
* Visible burglar alarms and carefully directed security lighting can deter burglars. Make sure alarms stop sounding after 20 minutes and lights don’t disturb your neighbours.
* Keep desirable items out of view to passers-by. Valuables should not be visible from windows and doors in your home.
* Ensure your house and car keys are kept in a safe place out of sight and well away from your letterbox.
* Don’t leave spare keys outside or in a garage or shed.
* Consider buying a safe for personal papers, passports and small items of jewellery. This must be secured to the floor or a wall.
* Never leave garages or sheds unlocked, especially if they connect to your property.
* If you see somebody acting suspiciously report it to the police immediately by calling 101 or, in an emergency, call 999.
Burglary has reduced in Nottinghamshire in the last year, according to the latest national crime figures.
The figures, released by the Office of National Statistics last week (Thursday 17 October 2019), showed that burglaries fell by ten per cent in the year to June 2019. This was a significantly greater reduction than the national average, which fell by four per cent, and the regional average, which fell by five per cent.
Burglary remains a priority for Nottinghamshire Police, with dedicated burglary teams now focused on tackling and reducing burglary in the city and county.
For more information on how to protect your home visit https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/document/advice-home
For more advice on how to protect your valuables at home visit https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/prevention/valuables