Crime advice has been issued ahead of the bank holiday weekend.
Officers are reminding those planning to use the long weekend to visit one of Bedfordshire’s many beauty spots and family attractions to remain vigilant and ensure homes and vehicles are left secure.
Chief Insp Tania Coulson, from Bedfordshire Police, said: “We do not tolerate any form of criminal activity – house burglaries can have a devastating impact on victims and thefts from vehicles can also be distressing for those involved.
“We want to reiterate to all residents the importance of keeping the doors and windows of your home secured while you are out. We do experience a rise in thefts from vehicles during the warmer months, so it is therefore vital people don’t advertise their valuables to criminals this way either.
“There are many beautiful areas in our county to spend your free time, and it is a great idea to make the most of our countryside and various attractions. However, if you’re doing so, make sure your vehicle is securely locked, all windows are closed and any items of value are taken with you wherever possible, or at the very least moved out of sight.
“Laptops, tablets, sat nav devices, mobile phones and handbags are the items offenders would target during a house burglary, yet are often kept in our cars as we enjoy a leisurely day out.”
The force has teamed up with leisure providers and agencies around the county to help promote this message.
Ch Insp Coulson added: “We have a number of operations in place to reduce instances of burglary and thefts from vehicles in the Bedfordshire area. We would like to reassure residents that we are working in partnership with other agencies across the county to fight crime and help make Bedfordshire a safe place to live, work and visit.
“This bank holiday weekend I would urge all Bedfordshire residents to take note of our personal safety advice, particularly if they or their neighbours are going out for the day in their cars, or leaving their homes for a longer trip away.”
Police have issued the following safety advice:
• Use your lights at home – keep them on a timer while you are away so it looks like someone is home
• Make sure all doors on your house and vehicle are securely locked at all times. If you have UPVC door at home, make sure it is double locked
• Keep all valuables and keys safely out of sight from windows, both in your home and car
• Never leave garages or sheds unlocked – not only can valuable tools be appealing to thieves, they can also be used to force entry to your home
• Don’t hide your keys under a doormat or in a flowerpot – it’s the first place a would-be offender will look
• Ask a friend to keep an eye on your house while you’re away, and do the same for neighbours by remaining alert to suspicious activity in your street
• If you spot someone behaving suspiciously in a car park or appearing to steal from vehicles, contact police immediately
• Don’t forget to security mark your property and register it on www.immobilise.com
To report suspicious activity, or for more crime reduction advice, call 101.