CRIME prevention volunteers have issued top tips for security this summer.

The Harwich and District Community Crime Prevention Panel is urging residents to be vigilant during the day in hot weather so they don’t fall victim to “sneak thief burglars”.

Honorary secretary Lesley Chambers said: “Not many people consider their home security whilst they are at home in daytime, however during the summer months there are further attractions to criminals due to the hot weather that they will take advantage of.

“On hot days windows and rear doors into the garden are left open and no-one is downstairs in the house or to that matter in those rooms.

“Burglars will take advantage of gates that are not locked or poor boundary fencing to enter the rear garden, and if the opportunity is there with a door or accessible window open the burglar will pop in and grab what they can.”

The panel advises residents not to provide opportunities for burglars by keeping bigger windows closed in unoccupied rooms.

Lesley added: “A barbecue or other in the back garden who notices the uninvited guest, or while you are all in the garden who notices the burglar to the front of the house enter and steal undetected.”

The panel also warned of easy access to flat roofs or climbing aids giving access to first floor open windows. They also suggest ensuring fencing is adequate - at least 1.8m with locked gates - and say topping with warning signage or spiky plants add to security.

Lesley said: “Don’t forget the car on the drive, it may be hot and an open car may be cooler but it will also attract a thief to steal it or something from within it.”

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