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Operation Darker Nights launched to support residents

A new campaign has been launched to encourage residents to take extra security measures now darker nights have arrived.

Malvern Hills Community Safety Partnership and West Mercia Police have joined forces to carry out Operation Darker Nights.

Police will be visiting burglary victims in the Malvern area who have had their properties broken into since May this year. They will be assessing properties to check adequate security measures are in place as well as offering basic crime prevention advice. Neighbouring properties will also be visited.

The partnership will also be working with police to offer free home security checks to anyone who wants one.

Rob Rich, Community Safety and Resilience Manager at Malvern Hills District Council, said: "Malvern remains a safe place to live but the arrival of the darker nights mean burglars have more opportunities to strike. By offering some simple crime prevention advice to our residents we can limit those opportunities."

Residents are being urged to follow some simple crime prevention advice to protect their properties including:

Keeping cards or ID documents out of easy reach of doors, letterboxes or windows.

Locking all doors and windows. If you have multi-locking door handles, lift the handle, lock it with the key and remove it - LIFT - LOCK - REMOVE. Put the key in a safe place out of sight in case of fire.

Locking garages and sheds so garden tools and ladders can't be used to break into your home.

Keeping side gates locked and wheelie bins stored behind them.

Using timer switches linked to lights and a radio so it appears that someone is at home.

Using a safe, securely fixed to a solid surface, to store valuable and sentimental items.

Installing a visible burglar alarm system

Installing low level 'dusk till dawn' lighting to increase visibility and deter burglars.

Keeping side and rear boundaries high to restrict access and front boundaries low to remove hiding places.

Photographing and marking valuables and sentimental items with your postcode and house number/name. Then register them at www.immobilise.com