Metal gates are likely to prove essential in the fight against crime this winter, one police force has suggested.

Bedfordshire Police explained that with the clocks going back in the coming days, people need to do everything they can to protect their properties against thieves.

Statistics show that the number of recorded burglaries increases by as much as half when the clocks change at the end of October, so homeowners must take decisive action.

The force recommends installing metal gates to prevent thieves from getting into the back of the house, where they are able to work unseen.

It suggests that these are best fitted along the side passage of a property for full effect.

Police Inspector Alex House commented: "Thieves are essentially lazy opportunists, and if they have to make a lot of noise, spend a lot of time, or risk being seen, they are unlikely to bother."

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