THE battle to beat the burglar steps up tomorrow with the launch of a campaign.
It follows a rising number of sneak-in burglaries in Kirklees.
The campaign will be launched by the divisional commanders of Huddersfield and Dewsbury police, Chief Supts John Holt and John Cocliff.
They are worried that in some areas of the district almost one in three burglaries is carried out by sneak-in thieves.
Kirklees Council's community safety officer, Ms Maroof Shah, said: "This is a real problem and it is something we must all, as residents, get to grips with.
"Sneak-ins are opportunistic crimes. The thieves rely on people not locking windows and doors.
"People need to understand that their property is at risk even when they are at home if they do not lock their doors and windows," she added.
"A vast amount of burglaries take place while people are watching television or doing other household tasks. They are distracted at such times - and if a door or window is left unlocked a thief can sneak in."
Ms Shah added: "The police have said it over and over again, but it bears repeating that one of the most effective things people can do to stop themselves becoming a victim of this crime is simply to always keep their doors and windows secured.
"This is not a summer crime which goes away in the winter. Everyone must remain vigilant, whatever the time of year and whatever the weather."
In July, police figures revealed a staggering rise in the number of sneak-in burglaries - particularly in the Dewsbury division, which has seen a five-fold increase in four years.
Crime prevention officer Pc Colin Whiteley, of Dewsbury police, said sneak-in burglaries accounted for 4.9% of all burglaries four years ago, 19% last year and 30.7% now.
Of the 2,097 burglaries reported in Dewsbury, 644 were sneak-ins.
He added: "People are creatures of habit and it takes a lot to change habits. But that needs to be done.
"You have to lock doors and windows, or buy devices for windows and doors which will prevent them from being yanked open."
Det Chief Insp Colin Prime, of Huddersfield police, said that
four years ago, sneak-in burglaries accounted for 14% of all burglaries in the Huddersfield division.
That figure rose to 16.5% two years ago, but is now 15%.
He said: "Sneak-in burglaries are still a major problem which can so easily be tackled. We are talking about getting back to basics.
"Don't leave handbags and keys near a door and don't leave doors and windows open."