CHESHIRE Police is urging residents to lock garage and shed doors after giving them a spring clean.

With the clocks going forward yesterday, Sunday, many residents will look to use their time at home by clearing out their garages and getting some gardening done.

But officers are reminding people to remain vigilant, not to become complacent with home security and to protect yourself from becoming a victim of crime.

As the days start to get that little bit warmer and the nights that little bit lighter, this time of year can often see an increase in crime.

That is why you should check security measures as you change your clocks and be extra vigilant to ensure thieves don’t take advantage by doing simple things such as closing windows and doors.

Bill Dutton, chief superintendent for local policing, said: “It is important to remind you that as the lighter nights begin, thieves will be on the look-out for any lapses in security, so it is vital that we do all we can to protect both our homes and possessions.

“I would urge everyone to ensure that windows and doors are closed and locked and that personal items such as bikes and other equipment are stored away out of sight.

“The same applies to garages or sheds - ensure that they are locked with strong padlocks and, ideally, fitted with an alarm.

“By taking a couple of minutes to follow these simple steps it will greatly help you in reducing your chances of becoming a victim of crime.”

Here’s how you can secure your home:

  • Keep your house and car keys safe and away from doors and windows
  • Keep your windows shut and your doors locked
  • Fit a burglar alarm, but make sure it is installed properly and works
  • Keep your garage and garden shed locked with proper security locks, and keep any tools secure and out of sight
  • Trim back any plants or hedges that a burglar could hide behind
  • Make sure you have up-to-date home insurance
  • If you are replacing or fitting new doors and windows, get ones that are certified to British Standard BS7950 (windows) or PAS 24-1 (doors)
  • Fit mortise locks (Kitemarked BS3621) to all front and back doors and locks to all downstairs windows or windows which are easy to reach

Anyone with any information about this type of crime is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101.

Information can also be passed on anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.