HOUSEHOLDS in Hartlepool are being urged to take extra steps to safeguard their properties now that the clocks have gone back.

The Hartlepool Community Safety Team is urging them to light up their homes to deter thieves and burglars.

Victim Services Officer, Jane Munden said: “It is usual to see an increase in burglaries when the clocks go back and it becomes dark earlier, but we can all try to protect our homes by using lights to make life as difficult as possible for would-be thieves and burglars.

“I would suggest using a few timer switches – set in rooms in which you usually sit – and light-sensitive lamps so that your home looks occupied even when you aren’t in.

“Dusk-to-dawn lighting which comes on when it starts to get dark and goes off when it starts to get light in the morning is also recommended.”

As well as lighting up their homes, residents are advised to take other steps to protect their properties, including: Ensuring that all windows, doors and other entry points are secure, not leaving valuables in sight of a door or window.

Not leaving keys in locks or in view of a door or window, marking valuables with their house number and postcode.

The Hartlepool Community Safety Team brings together staff from Hartlepool Borough Council, Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade under one roof at Hartlepool police station in Avenue Road. It aims to provide a co-ordinated response to crime and anti-social behaviour issues affecting communities across the town.

Crime prevention assistance can be obtained by calling the team on 01429 523100 or emailing

Crimes should be reported by calling the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, people can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.