Staffordshire police are urging holidaymakers to check their home security and entrust a neighbour to keep an eye on their property when they are away to help prevent would-be burglars breaking in.
Making property looked lived in should go a long way to making sure that when people return home they find their homes as they left, officers say.
People are encouraged to do a security check well in advance of going away to make sure burglar and fire alarms are working, and where necessary, fit locks and bolts to sheds and garden gates.
Ian Taberner, crime prevention officer, said: “Asking a trusted neighbour, friend or relative to keep an eye on your property, draw and open curtains, switch lights on/off can make a property look lived in. It is a simple but very effective way of improving security.
“People could also use timer switches for a radio and lights in different rooms. And not keeping items on view by windows and leaving valuable items such as jewellery and laptops with a relative or friend can reduce the risk of them tempting a thief and being stolen.”
Mr Taberner added: “It is not only the cost of what has been stolen, but items of sentimental value can be priceless and irreplaceable to their owners. Being a victim of a burglary can have long lasting affect on people, knowing someone has been in your home, with disregard to privacy and possessions. Taking these few measures could help keep property safe.”