WILTSHIRE Police have offered safety advice to homeowners hoping to protect their property from burglars.

Residents should lock doors and windows every time they leave the house and make sure they have approved locks or bolts to all doors and windows.

Never leave a spare key in a hiding place like in a plant pot or letter box - a thief knows all the hiding places

Register all serial numbers from electrical items, tools and garden equipment with Immobilise.com

Mark items without serial numbers with an artificial DNA property marker such as Smartwater or SelectaDNA.

Use a timer to set lights to mimic your usual activity when they are not at home.

Do not open the door to anyone you don't know or are not expecting. Always check by using a spy-hole or look through a window. Don't trust an ID card.

Trim back any plants and hedges at the front of the property to no higher than one meter to remove hiding places.

Always report any suspicious activity, note any vehicle registrations, descriptions of persons involved and direction of travel.

Consider installing a monitored burglar alarm, and only use a company that is registered or certified with the NSI or the SSIAB.

Take photographs of all jewellery including hallmarks and keep them safe. Make sure tat contents insurance is up-to-date.

Keep all keys, purses and wallets out of sight and away from the letterbox.