As the darker nights draw in, residents in Milton Keynes are being advised to take steps to reduce the risk of being targeted by opportunist thieves. There are traditionally more opportunist burglaries in the area at this time of year. Officers will be patrolling neighbourhoods and burglary hot-spot areas identifying houses that may be at greater risk of burglary. Residents are also being advised of steps they can take to protect their homes.

Insp Matt Darnell, based at Milton Keynes Local CID, said: “Residents need to be aware that they should be on their guard against burglars a bit more than normal at this time of year, as the darker evenings draw in.

“There are some simple things people can do to help ward off burglars and prevent themselves from becoming a victim of crime, so I would urge all residents to follow our advice.”
Advice includes:

• Don’t leave your home in darkness advertising the fact there is no one at home. Invest in a timer light switch and vary the time it comes on each day to make it look more natural. It can also be used with a radio or TV to give the impression that someone’s home;
• Perhaps purchase a fake/simulated TV device which lights up a room like a real TV;
• Keep valuables out of sight and mark them with your house number and postcode using a UV pen;
• Register your valuables via the Immobilise website (opens new window) and keep an inventory list. It’s free and takes just a few minutes;
• If you have jewellery at home, photograph it for insurance purposes and consider storing it in a suitable safe;
• Lock your doors and windows. If you have a UPVC door make sure you have double-locked it by lifting the handle and locking it with the key. Make sure the key is removed from the lock and out of reach;
• If you’re going away, remember not to post details of your holiday on social networking websites, cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries and, if you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set before you leave;
• Look out for your neighbours’ houses, especially when they’re not at home, and call 999 immediately if you see anything suspicious. If you want to report something which does not require an immediate response call Thames Valley Police’s non-emergency number 101.

Residents can follow their local police and pick up security advice from Twitter at: Twitter.com/tvp_mk

For further crime reduction advice they can visit the Crime Prevention section of the TVP website