A NEW campaign to tackle the rise in opportunistic burglaries during the warmer months was launched in Swindon yesterday.

Wiltshire Police and the Swindon Community Safety Partnership have been taking the message around the town that it only takes a minute to make sure your home is secure.

From May throughout the summer, burglaries tend to rise as people feel inclined to leave doors and windows open.

Cheri Fayers, of the Swindon Community Safety Partnership, said: “Nationally we start seeing an increase in burglaries around May and into June.

“We are trying to give out a simple message to help people avoid being a victim of burglary.

“During the summer months people become a little bit more complacent with their security.

“We are here saying it only takes a minute to secure your home, and it only takes a minute for a burglar to get in.

“There are additional things people can do to make their security a little better, like installing new bells and no cold caller stickers on the front door. All these things help.

“People will always say they already secure their homes, but this is about reinforcing what people are already doing. For instance, if you buy a massive TV, don’t leave the box outside your house with the rubbish. That is just advertising the fact.

“Around a quarter of burglaries occur around insecurities, so if only a few people go home after talking to us and close their windows and doors, even while they are in the house, the message has got through.”

Sgt Graham McLaughlin, acting inspector for the town centre, urged people to register any valuables on a national database so police are able to trace it if it is stolen.

“Immobilise is a free national service where people can register their property, anything from bikes through to laptops and mobile phones,” he said. “If it is lost or stolen and we recover it during searches we can reunite it with the owner.

“A lot of people don’t know the service exists, and it is a national system, so it could turn up in Newcastle, and we would be able to trace it back to Swindon.

“Days like this are also a good opportunity for us as the neighbourhood policing team to discuss what issues are important to people locally.

“There are similar events going on in West Swindon.”

The campaign will continue today from 10am to 2pm at the Ellendune Centre in Wroughton with the East Swindon neighbourhood policing team.