Householders are being urged to be extra vigilant as part of a joint council and police summer safety drive.
Bolton’s Be Safe partnership, which is made up of Bolton Council, the police, fire service and other partners, is asking residents to take steps to protect their homes to prevent burglary while they are on holiday.
Top tips to foil the thieves include: use automatic timer switches to turn your lights on when it goes dark; do not put your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination and mark all valuables with a UV pen, to include your postcode, house number or first two letters of your house name.
The campaign was launched today (Friday, July 16) in Victoria Square. Council officers and police community support officers were on hand to offer safety tips and advice. They also gave out property marking packs and light timer switches.
Councillor Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, Executive Member for Cleaner, Greener, Safer, said: “By taking a few simple steps during the summer months we can prevent break-ins from opportunist thieves. We all want to relax when away and the thought of someone going through our home and belongings whilst we are away would upset many people.
“We’d also ask those residents who are not going on holiday to be vigilant and lock up their windows and doors even though it is still daylight in the evenings.”
Campaign organisers are also encouraging eligible members of the public - victims of domestic burglary; those over 60; lone parents, and those in receipt of certain benefits - to have a free home safety assessment.
The assessment looks at the householder’s current level of security and identifies what security improvements are required, such as window locks, door locks and door chains. The improvements are installed there and then, for free, during the same visit.
Inspector Phil Spurgeon of the Bolton Central Neighbourhood Policing Team added: “One in three burglaries are still due to unlocked and open doors and windows and this figure tends to increase during periods of warm weather. The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of the simple measures that can be taken to help prevent our personal possessions being stolen by burglars.
“Friday’s event is also a great opportunity for residents to come and speak to local officers to pick up some crime prevention tips and tell us their concerns about crime and anti-social in their neighbourhood.”
Residents can call 01204 331990 for more information and to organise a free home safety assessment.