With the clocks due to go forward this weekend, police are urging people to keep home security in mind when they start to enjoy the lighter nights and warmer weather over the coming months.
Most thieves are opportunist and will take the chance to enter a property left insecure or simply take high value items from gardens or outbuildings.
Detective Superintendent Wilson Gill is Police Scotland’s lead detective on acquisitive crime - offences where items or money are stolen - and said:
“Most people will be keen to take advantage of the longer days and improving weather, especially after the severe conditions we have seen over recent weeks. I would urge people not to be complacent and make sure your property remains secure as you do so.
“There are simple steps that you can take as we move into springtime - basic things like ensuring your doors and windows are locked if you are working in the garden so no-one can slip in when your back is turned, and making sure you put all tools and equipment into a secured shed or garage afterwards.
“Someone looking to break into a house could even use your tools to do so, whether it’s a ladder to gain entry through an upstairs window or a tool to force a doorframe, so put them away after use.
“Many things that people keep in their sheds and garages are very expensive - bicycles and power tools are portable so easy to quickly remove and transport in a car or van. Make sure that your outbuilding security is sufficient for your needs - more robust locks and shed alarms are available and don’t advertise your valuables by leaving them on display through a window.
“Make sure that you mark your property using methods like UV pens or protective marking solutions, take note of serial numbers and photograph them too. These can all be used to reunite you with your possessions should they be recovered after a housebreaking.
“To help you keep your property safe this spring, we are launching an awareness campaign today (Wednesday), outlining a few quick things you can do that will make a big difference to your home security. Keep an eye out for the campaign on Facebook and Instagram, and you may also spot posters in your local area. There is also more information on the Police Scotland website.”