CHRISTMAS burglaries and a rise in cyber crimes has prompted police to dish out advice ahead of this festive season.

Thames Valley Police is holding a community event later this month to prevent residents from becoming victims of crime.

The conference will take place at Earley Crescent Community Centre on November 27 from 12pm until 3.30pm.

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The police explained they have seen an increase in cyber crime including courier fraud, telephone and postal scams, and door step crime (rogue traders) over the years.

They want to inform residents about these crimes and how to recognise them to stop people from becoming victims.

PC Julie Susel explained: "With the build up to Christmas, we want to share information on how to protect your property and give simple crime prevention advice."

She added: "We always see a slight increase in burglaries at Christmas time, most of which are opportunist burglaries.

"People leave wrapped Christmas presents under the tree, which are visible from the window."

PC Susel has issued the following advice to residents.

She explained, before you leave the house you should:

• Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you’re only going out for a few minutes

• Double-lock any door

• Make sure that any valuables are out of sight

• Keep handbags away from the letterbox or cat flap and hide all keys including car keys, as a thief could hook keys or valuables through even a small opening

• Never leave car documents or ID in obvious places such as kitchens or hallways

• In the evening, shut the curtains and leave lights on

• If you’re out all day, then it’s advisable to use a timer device to automatically turn lights and a radio on at night

• Set your burglar alarm

• Make sure the side gate is locked

• Lock your shed or garage

• Lock your bike inside a secure shed or garage, to a robust fitting bolted to the ground or wall, like a ground anchor

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During the conference, there will be various organisations offering advice to residents, including Wokingham Borough Council, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue, Thames Valley Police and Trading Standards.

Guest speakers, including a cyber protection officer, will also give a 30 minute presentation followed by a question and answer session.

The event is open to everyone but PC Susel explained they are hoping the elderly and vulnerable will attend.

There will be two further conferences early next year, one in Wokingham and one in Bracknell.