A campaign has been launched to help lower the risk of residential burglaries.

Thames Valley Police has launched its' spring into action' campaign, encouraging residents to be proactive and take steps to secure their home to lower the risk of burglaries.

The number of dwelling residential burglaries went down by a total of 1.9 percent between March 1, 2018, and 28 February, 2019.

In order to continue the downward trend, Thames Valley Police have issued advice to residents to keep their homes safe.

Head of Force Intelligence and Special Operations at Thames Valley Police, Detective Chief Superintendent Richard List, said: “Burglary has a huge impact on victims. It’s not just the financial cost of having to replace items stolen, but the emotional impact of having a stranger violate your home.

“We find that people don’t often think about the effects of burglary until it happens to them, or someone they know. Jennifer and Sam were victims of burglary and have described how they were affected following the incident.

“The best way to review your security arrangements is to look at your property through the eyes of a burglar. Think about how you would you break in if you locked yourself out?

“Below are some quick practical steps that you can take straight away to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of burglary:

• Ensure doors and windows are locked, even if you are just out in the garden.

• Store house, window and car keys away from windows and your letterbox.

• Hide valuables so they can’t be seen from outside.

• Mark your valuables with a UV pen or forensic marking kit as this will make it harder for thieves to sell the items.

• Register valuables for free on the national property register at www.immobilise.com and bicycles at www.bikeregister.com.

• Always lock sheds and garages to prevent access to tools that could be used to break into your home.

• Trim back hedges and shrubs at the front of your property so that burglars have nowhere to hide.

The force has also released a video documenting the story of Sam and Jennifer, who had their home broken into while they were out of the house.

When Jennifer returned to her home, she was assaulted by a man dressed all in black when she attempted to stop the offender leaving her property.

“After the burglary, we were both on edge the whole time. We took it in turns to go out, I would go out shopping and Sam would stay in until I got back. We just did not find safe in the house and leaving it.

“Even at night, if we heard a strange noise we would leap out of bed and investigate.”

The burglar was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment in October 2018 after he was convicted of seven burglary offences, including the one on Sam and Jennifer’s home.