AS we prepare to set our clocks back, officers from South Yorkshire Police have released a guide which could help residents to stay safe from would-be burglars.

The tips can help prevent crime by making sure thieves can't take advantage of the cover of darkness.

Barnsley South Neighbourhood Poling team said: “With many people looking forward to the extra hour in bed on October 31, burglars are looking forward to the cover of darkness winter brings, as this darkness helps them to commit their crimes.

“We are asking for you to continue to be vigilant and to keep remembering to follow all steps when it comes to crime prevention.

“Have a look at our crime prevention advice if you are unsure about any key steps.”

Below is some of the advice you can use at home:

  • Keep front and back doors locked at all times, and keep keys and valuables out of sight and reach from cat flaps or letterboxes

  • Use timer switches to turn on lights before you get home to create the illusion that someone is home.

  • Keep curtains closed at night

  • On cold mornings, never leave your car unattended with the engine running

  • Secure sheds and outbuildings with good padlocks

You can also stay safe when out and about:

  • De-clutter your handbag, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash

  • Carry wallets and phones in inside pockets of jackets or coats – not in the back pocket of trousers

  • Never leave your bag unattended on the back of trolleys or pushchairs