Police and their partners across County Durham have launched a campaign to ensure people are switched on to home security over the winter months.
With the clocks having gone back at the weekend, they are urging people in communities across the county to adopt simple tips to keep burglars at bay during the dark nights.
As part of the Winter Nights campaign – aimed at reducing the risk of burglaries and theft from vehicles – they want householders and landlords to ask themselves: “Are you switched on?”
Chief Superintendent Ivan Wood said: “Crime is continuing to fall across the force area, and there have been 1,000 fewer victims of crime this year compared to last.
“Reducing the number of victims is at the heart of what we aim to do. However, we aren’t complacent and would encourage everyone to keep their property safe and secure so that the county remains one of the safest places in the country to live and work.”
He added: “Members of the public can help reduce their risk of becoming the victim of an opportunist burglar by being switched on to ways in which they can protect their homes over the winter months.
“It’s more obvious that a home is unoccupied if it is in darkness, which is why we advise people to use timer switches on lights. Remember to have them set daily for early evening before you get home from work.