Greater Manchester Police used the day that marks the start of summer to give residents across the county a seasonal warning on burglary, thefts from sheds and thieves targeting homes of people away on holiday.
Officers say that burglaries can increase in the summer months as people spend more time outdoors in gardens and leave doors and windows open to keep homes cool.
They add that in around one in three burglaries all thieves have to do is simply walk or climb into insecure homes and help themselves to valuables.
Latest crime figures for Greater Manchester show that burglary is on the decrease with 15,494 being recorded in the 12 months to the end of May this year a reduction of more than 13 per cent when compared to the same period the previous year. This reduction equates to 2,348 fewer families falling victim to this distressing crime.
Officers warn against complacency however and want homeowners to keep doors and windows shut and locked and to set security alarms when they go out to keep burglars at bay.
People should also lock away all gardening tools and equipment when not in use in a shed or garage secured with a quality lock and hasp and staple. Tools and ladders in your garden can not only be stolen but can prove very handy to burglars breaking into your home.
Holiday makers are advised to make their homes look occupied while they are away. Trusted neighbours could open and close curtains, park a car on your driveway and keep your lawns and plants trimmed. Valuable personal items and important documents should be left with other family members or put in a bank and milk and newspaper deliveries cancelled.
Chief Superintendent Tim Forber who is leading the Force’s fight against theft crimes said: “We are winning the fight against burglary but people need to stay on their guard to stop their homes being raided by these heartless criminals.
“Simple things such as ensuring the front of your home is secure if you are in the back garden and vice versa can really cut down the opportunities for burglars to target your home.
“Building home security into your holiday plans can also seriously reduce the risk of coming home to a nasty shock.
“People can help us turn up the heat on criminals by watching out for each other, especially when neighbours are away on holiday and reporting suspicious activity either directly to police on 101 the new single non-emergency number or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Further information on keeping yourself, your family and friends and your property safe from criminals is available in the crime reduction section of GMP’s website on www.gmp.police.uk/crimereduction.