Beware of New Year burglars

HANDING OUT: PCSO Andy Lowe, Mandy Ingham and PCSO Kevin Barlow

HANDING OUT: PCSO Andy Lowe, Mandy Ingham and PCSO Kevin Barlow

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POLICE are urging residents to secure their homes to deter burglars who target empty properties on New Year’s Eve as people leave their homes to party.

Burglars take advantage of people letting their guard down in the holiday season, and victims can return home from parties to find they have been burgled.

To reduce the chances of having a miserable start to the New Year, Police are reminding Wigan residents to lock all external doors and windows, activate the burglar alarm if you have one and use timer switches on lights and radios to make your house look occupied.

Valuables should also be kept out of sight and any boxes that contained presents or other valuables disposed of by taking them to the tip – leaving them outside your home advertises to thieves what might be inside.

Police also recommend registering all valuables for free at www.immobilise.com – almost any item with a serial number that is recovered by police can be returned to the owner if it is registered on the database.

In the run up to the New Year, officers will be increasing patrols in hotspot areas and visiting prolific offenders to warn them that they will be keeping a close eye on them.

Residents can do their bit by following the crime prevention advice to make sure they don’t play host to any unwelcome visitors at this time of year.

And as part of the project a utility company has funded timers as part of a burglary reduction project in Leigh.

The timer switches from Electricity North West can be set to turn lights and radios on and off, giving the impression that houses are occupied to deter burglars.

Local police community support officers (PCSOs) have been handing out the devices while reminding residents about the importance of alarms, locks and lights.

Mandy Ingham from Electricity North West, said: “We are always happy to support the work the police do in local neighbourhoods, in this case by sponsoring timers to help reduce burglary.”