Derbyshire Police issue safety reminder as clocks go back

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Derbyshire Police is urging homeowners to review their security as the clocks go back this weekend and the nights get darker earlier.

The clocks go back at 2am on Sunday, October 27, and the longer nights can offer new opportunities to burglars.

A police spokesman said: "As the darker autumn nights approach, we would like to remind residents to think about home security during the late afternoon and evenings.

"By taking some simple steps you can reduce the chance of your home being a potential target to criminals, so we urge residents to keep windows and doors locked and secure at all times, whether they are in or out of the home."

Other advice and tips include:

* Make use of good outdoor security lighting to put off a burglar.

* Make your home look occupied when you are out- avoid leaving curtains closed during the day and use automatic timer switches to turn lights on when it gets dark.

* Consider fitting a burglar alarm - make sure it is installed properly by a reputable firm and is working. Also remember to set it before you leave home.

* A thorny hedge along the boundary of your property may put thieves off, as may a gravel path, as it’s noisy to walk on.

* Always close any gates and secure them with a lock.

* Trim back any hedges or plants that a burglar could hide behind.

The police are also encouraging people to be good neighbours and contact the police if you see anyone acting suspiciously in your area.

Call 101 for a non-emergency, and 999 in an emergency situation.