POLICE in Bolton have launched a crackdown on Christmas burglars.

They have also issued advice for home owners and motorists as the festive season draws closer.

Chris Waters, crime prevention officer at Astley Bridge police station, said: "Historically, as we head towards Christmas and the darker evenings, houses appear to be more vulnerable.

"But the vast majority of burglaries can be prevented by using basic crime prevention steps to reduce the possibility of premises being targeted."

Police say homeowners should:

Fit secure door and window locks

Never leave valuable items on show

Make sure tools or ladders or not left outside for burglars to use

Consider insurance and property marking

Ensure door are always locked. Beware of bogus callers

Consider pruning bushes to improve visibility

Consider alarms and security lights

Secure sheds and garages

Consider joining or starting homewatch schemes.

Mr Waters said: "It is a proven fact that most burglars are opportunists who look for the easy option in gaining access to people's property, such as through open doors and window."

Anyone wanting further advice should contact him on 0161 856 5746.