POLICE have urged the public not to give would-be burglars an easy ride this Christmas by staying vigilant.

There has been a 25 per cent rise in the number of burglaries in the Thames Valley region in the last six months.

Advice on how to protect your home and valuable items is available from Thames Valley Police through a range of sources.

Detective chief superintendent Richard List said: "We are only too aware of the serious impact that having your home broken into has on people in the Thames Valley. It is traumatic both psychologically and financially.

"Over recent months, like other forces across the country, we have been seeing an increase in burglaries.

"There are a number of reasons for this increase but it's important that we all do everything we possibly can to prevent burglaries being committed in the first place.

"We are taking every action possible to tackle this by bringing offenders to justice, and also disrupting those who see fit to carry out these crimes.

"We would ask the public to think about what measures they can take to secure their homes.

"This could include securing doors and windows, having lights on timers and also not advertising on social media if you are going away for a holiday. My taking just a few simple measures, particularly at this time of year, you can significantly reduce your risk of being a victim of burglary.

"Additionally, we would ask members of the community to be vigilant and keep an eye on their neighbours' properties if they are unoccupied and report any suspicious behaviour by calling 101 or speaking to one of the neighbourhood policing teams."