RESIDENTS are being urged to lock up or lose out to burglars as part of a new campaign designed to cut the number of break-ins.

Basildon is one of three hotspot areas - including Epping Forest and Harlow - which is being targeted by the joint Essex Police and Essex County Council campaign due to a rise in the number of break-ins.

Between January and March last year, there were 304 burglaries across the borough, an average of more than 100 per month.

Now, through the Safer Essex partnership, police have teamed up with Essex County Council to run the joint advertising campaign, urging people to think twice before leaving homes unlocked and valuables on display.

A massive advertising van has been placed in Basildon’s Town Square with the slogan “remember lock doors and windows before I leave the house” and posters are also being given out to residents and displayed on buses urging people to take simple steps such as locking doors and windows.