POLICE are urging residents to lock their doors and windows and keep valuables out of sight following a small but concerning spate of sneak-in burglaries.

Ryedale and Scarborough have been particularly affected, with 12 per cent increases in domestic burglaries in the period from April to the end of September.

Police say that often properties are targeted by opportunist thieves who have entered insecure homes and stolen cash and personal items which, in many cases, have been easily visible through the windows.

As part of North Yorkshire Police’s ongoing burglary reduction campaign, Operation Haven, residents are being urged to take extra measures to increase their own home security.

Detective Chief Inspector Heather Pearson, who is co-ordinating Operation Haven, said: “While residents across the force area can be assured that North Yorkshire Police is working around the clock to deter, catch and bring burglary suspects to justice, it is still vital for people to do everything they can to ensure their homes and possessions are as secure as possible.

“By taking simple steps such as fitting security lights and burglar alarms, locking windows and doors at all times, and keeping valuables and car keys out of sight, this will go a long way to greatly reduce the threat of opportunistic criminals targeting your home.”

DCI Pearson added: “I want people to look around their property and really think about what they can do to take away the temptation from potential burglars.

“There is a great deal of security advice readily available for homeowners, both from the police and other crime prevention partners.

“Please take on board this advice and do everything you can to keep your home safe and secure.”

Anyone with information about burglaries or suspicious activity in your neighbourhood or surrounding area, should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and speak to the force control room.

Information can also be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers by phoning 0800 555 111.

If it is a crime in progress and requires an emergency response, always dial 999.