Northamptonshire Police has told residents they can play a significant role in helping drive down the number of burglaries in the new year.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster said the Christmas period always saw a spike in the number of such crimes reported.
He was speaking as police released details of some of the more prolific burglars dealt with by the courts over the course of 2013, who received sentences of up to four-and-a-half years in prison.
The force has launched a campaign, dubbed Operation Lock It, in a bid to encourage people to do all they can to avoid falling victim to opportunistic burglars.
And Mr Foster said the force’s efforts over the past 12 months had resulted in just under a nine per cent fall in home burglaries between April and November 2013 compared with the same period last year, which is equivalent to 167 fewer incidents.
Mr Foster said: “Last year we saw a rise in burglaries between November and March.
He said people leaving windows and doors unsecured and ladders and car or house keys visible would encourage burglars. He recommended that hedgerows and bushes are trimmed back so neighbours can see any suspicious activity, and added that one offender had even crawled through a dog flap.
And he has issued this final appeal for the post-Christmas and New Year period: “Take responsibility for neighbours’ premises. Look after vulnerable neighbours and take care of your communities. Help us help you.”