SECURITY advice is being handed out to people across south Worcestershire in a bid to foil potential burglars.

Community support officers have been trained to give guidance on how to best protect property with state-of-the-art locks and latches, lighting and fencing and even the type of hedges that could help keep prowlers out.

The move marks an extension of the CSOs’ role and has been launched to coincide with a burglary awareness week – Operation Protect 3, which started yesterday.

The CSOs were given first-hand instruction from South Worcestershire division's crime risk manager Mike Stephenson. He said: “The CSOs’ busy role has now been further enhanced to cover all elements of residential security – and they are taking on their extended capability with great enthusiasm.

“As well as offering reassurance during follow-up visits, CSOs now provide the latest advice and guidance on what type of locks to buy as well as offering accurate guidance on CCTV and other security issues.” He told householders that most burglaries were carried out by opportunistic thieves so people should always ensure that their homes were safe and secure by leaving lights on, using timer switches and keeping doors and windows locked.

He also advised anyone leaving their premises empty to cancel milk and newspapers and ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on the property.

Mr Stephenson said: “Levels of crime in south Worcestershire are low but we want to make them even lower.

“We are committed to targeting persistent burglars and bringing them to justice to ensure local communities remain a safe place to live and work.” Posters and leaflets are also being distributed around the county.