ESSEX POLICE: Going away this Christmas? Protect your home

HOMES of holidaymakers and the deceased are being targeted by burglars, say Essex Police officers.

The force’s central division which covers Braintree, Chelmsford, Maldon and Uttlesford, has noticed a spike in house burglaries over first few days of December.

Detectives believe that unoccupied homes are being targeted. In one case owners of a home in Beazley End returned from holiday to discover the burglary and in another case, in Chelmsford, the homeowner had died.

Officers are reminding people that some simple crime prevention steps may prevent homes being burgled.

DCI Lee Davies said: “At this time of year, when it gets dark early, an empty home can easily be identified. It’s a good idea to have timer switches that bring lights and a radio on at dusk.

“If your home is going to be empty for a longer period then speak to friends or neighbours and arrange for someone to close the curtains and switch lights on. Good quality door and window locks will also deter the opportunist burglar. But if you notice anything suspicious then call police immediately using 999.”

Crime prevention advice is available on the Essex Police website, essex.police.ukor contact you local crime reduction officer on 101.