Staffordshire police are asking residents to take extra care this time of year to protect their properties. The reminder comes following a spate of reported break-ins across the town in the past week, as burglars take advantage of the longer hours of darkness

Staffordshire police have issued some tips to help reduce the chance of you being a victim.

– Always keep doors and windows locked, even when you’re in. Remove the keys from the lock and keep them out of view or reach.

– Use timer switches to turn lights on when you are out. Alternate the times and lights that you use.

– Make sure your alarm and any outside lights are in working order. Always activate your alarm when you leave the house and go to bed.

– Don’t leave items of value on show through ground floor windows (i.e. laptops, tablets, mobile phones, car keys etc.

– Lock your garden gates and side entrances. Keep ladders and tools securely stored away, don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home.

– Look out for your neighbours, especially the elderly and report any suspicious activity immediately.

– Consider joining our Smart Alert scheme when you can receive localised crime alerts and prevention advice from your local police officers.

For further advice and a comprehensive guide, please see:

To report a crime please call 101, or 999 immediately if the crime is in progress. You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.