Detective Chief Inspector Lee Gosling from Durham Constabulary shares his top tips to help you stay ahead of opportunist thieves this spring.
As the warmer months and longer days approach we're all looking forward to getting outside more.
It's important to remember that this time of year is also favoured by sneak-in burglars who take the opportunity to try unlocked doors and windows while we are in our gardens.
Please don't assume that your home is safe because it's broad daylight. If you're distracted in the garden - even for the length of time it takes to hang out the washing - it can be enough time for a opportunist thief to sneak in and take any items that are at hand. Purses, mobile phones, laptops, and jewellery are all easy to grab.
So, before you push on your wellies to tackle those flowerbeds, or set off on a spring day trip, it's worth remembering a few golden rules to protect your home and belongings.
Follow these simple steps to avoid becoming an easy target for burglars...
Close and lock the windows when you're not in the room.
Lock doors behind you, even if you're just out in the garden.
Lock tools and ladders away when not in use.
Use timer switches so that your lights come on when you're not home, giving the impression the house is occupied.
Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries if you go away on holiday. if you have a trusted neighbour ask them to move your post to avoid mail piling up and signalling to theives that you're away.