POLICE have issued safety advice after stepping up patrols in Earls Colne and Halstead.

Officers say they responded to an increase in reports of crime in those areas.

Now, following the patrols, yesterday evening, the force has issued a safety reminder to residents.

A spokesman said: "Make sure to lock your doors and windows every time you leave your house or go to bed, even if it’s still quite warm. Don’t give thieves an easy opportunity.

"Keep your keys and any key cards away from your front door or other external access points, out of sight and not left near a window but readily available in case of an emergency.

"Keep your money, gadgets and other valuables out of view from windows, doors or anywhere else they could be seen from outside.

Halstead Gazette: Night - a police vehicle pictured outside the Co-op in Earls ColneNight - a police vehicle pictured outside the Co-op in Earls Colne (Image: Essex Police)

"Leave lights on timers or radios in the rooms you use the most, to make it look like you are in. 

"To avoid possible confrontation don’t take the keys to bed with you.

"For cars with keyless entry, put your keys and spare keys in a Faraday bag to prevent the signal being accessed from outside.

"If you have a garage or driveway, make sure you can use that for parking your vehicle. Make sure any garage is secured with ‘Sold Secure’ tested and approved security products.

"Consider having a tracker fitted to your car and if you have one make sure it has been switched on.

"If you have a burglar alarm, set it every time you leave the house or go to bed."