HOMEOWNERS living in crime hotspots have been handed 'Christmas crime menus' in a bid to keep burglars at bay in the festive period.

Barrow Police's Mobile Crime Prevention Desk visited seven areas of the town yesterday to speak to residents about any concerns they have.

As part of the high-visibility effort to drive down crime, officers handed out a list of tips and tricks on home security.

The van was manned by Police Community Support Officers Emily Langhorn, Iain Richards and Andy Burns, Peter Thomas from the local neighbourhood watch and crime prevention officer Sharon Livesey.

PCSO Emily Langhorn said: “We trialled this back in June and it was very popular.

“Crime rates were higher in April as there was a spike in burglaries but since then we have seen a reduction.

“We are trialling it again now as the long darker nights set in.

“We don’t just park on the street - we go and knock on doors and let people know that we are here.

“We’re giving out ‘Christmas crime menu’s’. It’s a list of tips and tricks for keeping safe at this time of year.

“It is very well received and could be used in other areas.

“We had a tweet from a resident asking if we could go to Walney, I think there is potential to do so.

“We have trialled within this area because it was a hot spot for crime.

“We’ve given a lot of advice on home security.”

Police visited Fife Street, Kent Street, Derby Street, Risedale Road, Abbotsvale, Hempland Avenue and West Avenue.

Risedale councillors Hayley Preston and Debra Seward visited the desk during its stop on Risedale Road.

Cllr Preston said: “We would like to praise the police for their continued support towards the area.

“It is fantastic what they are doing.

“They are raising awareness, especially at Christmas, making sure that people have everything locked up.”

Cllr Seward said: “It’s all about just keeping people safe and making sure they have their home secured.

“I really like the Christmas crime menu, it’s a great idea.”