Officers in the Porthill and Keele areas are urging people to become more security conscious following a recent spate of burglaries.

Over the past two weeks there have been eight burglaries in Porthill and four in Keele where the offenders have gained access to the premises via insecure doors or windows. Officers are appealing to the public to make sure that they safeguard their property.

Sgt Greg Ikins of Newcastle Local Policing Team said: “We ask all residents to review their home security. Some simple measures could help stop a thief from stealing from your home.

“Prevention is better than cure so a few minutes making sure everything is locked or out of sight , even while you’re at home, could save you from being a victim of crime.”

Hot tips to keep burglars at bay include:

  • check that all the doors and windows are locked – even if you’re only popping out for a minute
  •  ensure door locks meet British standards
  • don’t leave house keys or car keys in sight or easy reach of windows or doors, and don’t keep them in an obvious place in the house. Better still, take them with you when you go to bed
  •  fit key-operated locks to all the windows
  •  install a visible burglar alarm and turn it on at night and whenever you leave the house
  •  don’t hide spare keys outside, or in the garage or shed
  •  whenever possible, park cars in the garage
  • leave the lights and the radio on a timer for the evening when you’re out, so that it looks like you’re in
  • if it’s dark outside, draw the curtains
  • lock the garden shed, if you have one
  • don’t leave any ladders or tools outside, which someone could use to get into the house
  • make sure that valuables like laptops, handbags, jewellery can’t be seen from the window
  • don’t leave any cash lying around or any documents with your name, address or other personal details (such as a bank statement or bill) that fraudsters could use
  • if you’re going on holiday, arrange for a friend or neighbour to collect the post and put the bins out.

If you see anyone acting suspiciously report it to the police on 101 or, in an emergency always dial 999.