POLICE are offering advice to householders to ensure their properties are secure after a spate of break-ins.

Residents can help themselves from becoming the victims of crime by taking a few simple precautions: l Make sure that doors and windows are securely locked; l Make sure door keys are not left in locks but are kept out of sight; l Ensure that doors and windows are in good repair; l Don’t leave tools and ladders loose in your garden.

Homeowners should also mark their possessions with the property’s postcode. Although this will not stop thieves from taking the items, it means that when police recover stolen items, they can be more easily returned to their rightful owner.

Once marked, items can be registered on the national database at immobilise.com Detective Sergeant Mark Jackson said: “The majority of burglars are opportunistic and will look for the house that allows them the promise of undetected entry.

“Thieves can get in and out of your home in just a few moments. They may only take items worth a small amount of money but they leave behind a great deal of distress.

“For more information about how to improve your home’s security, you can either contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team to arrange an appointment with a police officer or by visit the force’s website, which contains a large amount of useful advice.”

Visit northyorkshire.police.uk/crimeprevention