Warning following spate of burglaries in South Yorkshire - how to keep your home secure

There has been a spate of break-ins via upstairs windows
There has been a spate of break-ins via upstairs windows

A spate of burglaries in South Yorkshire where thieves have broken in through upstairs windows has prompted a warning from police.

Crooks have broken into at least a dozen homes in Rotherham by clambering up conservatories and flat roofs to gain entry via open windows or force their way into first-floor rooms where alarm sensors have not been active.

Over the past fortnight, there have been eight such break-ins in the south of the borough, at Brinsworth, Maltby, Swallownest, Lindrick Common, Thrybergh and three in Dinnington, with the other four in central and northern Rotherham.

Detective Inspector Mark Oughton said: "In the past couple of weeks we've had more than a dozen burglaries that have employed the same method of entry.

"We are confident of apprehending those responsible, but in the meantime would urge people to ensure their windows remain closed. You may also wish to fit detectors and window sensors to rooms above ground level, as these appear to be a target."

Police issued the following security advice:

• Always ensure your doors and windows are locked, even if you’re just in the next room

• Consider using timer or sensor switches on your lights when you are out to make it look like someone's at home

• Fit exterior lighting with sensors

• If you have a burglar alarm make sure you engage it when you go out and consider having effective window locks fitted. Upgrade to Euro locks on doors

• If you require a locksmith, get in touch with an MLA-approved locksmith

• If you don't have a burglar alarm, consider installing one. Get at least three quotes and seek specialist advice from companies who are registered with either the National Security Inspectorate or Security systems and Alarm Inspection Board

• Consider fitting CCTV

• Consider joining a neighbourhood watch scheme if you have one in your area. If not, think about setting one up with local residents

• Consider using a UV or permanent marker to mark your property. Mark valuables with your postcode, house number or name and register them on immobilise.com

• Keep valuables and car keys out of view and away from doors and windows

• Consider fitting laminate to windows accessible from a flat roof