It may seem obvious but it seems the message is not getting through – lock your windows and doors to stop burglars in their tracks.
A third of all burgled homes on the Fylde coast are left unlocked and Lancashire Police has launched a month-long campaign to drive the point home.
Offences typically peak in the summer as more people leave windows and doors open due to warm weather.
Now police are urging residents to do their bit to help prevent burglaries by highlighting the “devastating” consequences it can have on people’s lives.
A new series of posters, produced for the campaign, shows victims struggling to cope with the impact of having their home broken into.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates said: “We want to encourage people to take some simple steps to help themselves and reduce their chances of becoming a victim.
We want to encourage people to take some simple steps to help themselves and reduce their chances of becoming a victim
“The message from the campaign is clear: Be wise at home. Keep your windows and doors locked.”
It is a message the force gives out on a regular basis – yet the proportion of burglaries involving insecure properties is steadily increasing. In the last two years, that figure has risen above one in three.
He added: “Burglary is not a crime against the property but the person. It can have a truly devastating effect on how people feel in their own homes – often leaving that person feeling vulnerable, scared and anxious. During the summer months when the weather is nice, people are more inclined to take extra risks, by leaving a window open for instance.
“This campaign is about raising awareness of the impact that a burglary can have on the victims and making people think – no one ever considers that it could happen to them.”
Four posters (one pictured above) have been made for the campaign featuring different scenarios, showing victims unable to relax in their home after it was burgled.
Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, said: “Tackling crime is one of my key priorities in my police and crime plan and that is why I am supporting this campaign.
“Prevention is always better than cure and so I think it’s essential we inform Lancashire residents of steps they can take to help stop them becoming a victim of such an invasive crime.
“Lancashire is a safe place to live but we cannot be complacent and we must continue to take action to combat burglary so that everybody can feel safe in their own home.”