HOMEOWNERS in Flintshire are leaving themselves vulnerable to burglars.

That was the worrying findings following the launch of Operation Lockout – a scheme to encourage homeowners to keep their property secure from potential thieves.

During the first week of the operation a staggering 60 households in Flint alone were deemed vulnerable to thieves.

As part of the scheme officers must send home security packs to households that they believe to be insecure when out on duty.

North Flintshire Inspector Iwan Roberts said: “It’s an initiative recently started in Flintshire whereby if police officers or police staff see any houses with insecure windows then they take the details down and arrange for a pack to be posted out to the house to inform the occupant.

“In Flint we have had about 60 referrals already. The majority of burglaries are opportunist. The basis of this initiative is to give these opportunist thieves less chance.”

Flint councillor Alex Aldridge was shocked to hear how lax security was in his ward.

“The figure is alarming really,” he said.

“I am surprised that it’s so high, but perhaps I shouldn’t be as a lot of people don’t take enough notice in and around their home. It’s easy to become too comfortable in your own home and not think about these kinds of things.”

The need for the initiative was heightened after a car was stolen from outside a house in Oakenholt by a sneak-thief.

Police believe a thief got in to the property on Chester Road before taking the car keys at about 7pm on Saturday, July 24.

The vehicle was later found abandoned nearby. A 24-year old man was arrested and released on police bail.

Cllr Aldridge has praised the police for implementing the new scheme.

He added: “It is a brilliant idea to give some simple advice to people that will make their homes more secure. Just one little tip, such as an extra window lock, could make all the difference in the world.

“This is a great initiative and I hope police can put as much time into this as possible because as they say prevention is better than cure.”