Free padlocks and home security checks are on offer to Ribble Valley residents in a bid to combat outbuilding burglaries.
Ribble Valley Borough Council, the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership and home improvement charity, Homewise, have joined forces to offer the checks and padlocks for sheds and outbuildings.
As homes become more secure, thieves are targeting outbuildings to get their hands on gardening equipment and bicycles.
Unsecured buildings account for 16% of burglaries in Ribble Valley, with Whalley being the most targeted village.
Coun. Robert Thompson, borough councillor and chairman of the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership, said leaving your house insecure is rich pickings for opportunist thieves.
He added: “Many burglaries occur because of unsecured property, particularly outbuildings and sheds without suitable padlocks.
“As the better weather approaches, we spend more time outside and inevitably leave our property on show, creating rich pickings for opportunistic burglars.
“We want to stamp this out, so are offering free security checks by experienced officers and padlocks to help residents secure sheds and outbuildings.”
Home improvement charity Homewise offers advice, support and assistance to help elderly residents live more safely and comfortably, including a budget handyman service, advice on all aspects of home improvements and a list of trusted tradesmen.
Homewise staff are trained by Lancashire Police to undertake crime prevention checks of homes and install security measures.
To book a free security check and padlock, which are available while stocks last, contact Homewise on 01254 232249.