BURGLARS are tagreting St Neots and the surrounding area - with more than 80 crimes committed in the last three months.

Officers issued a warning about a spate of burglaries in October but despite that homes continue to be targeted - usually during the day. Residents are now being urged to report any suspicious activity.

Villages targeted include Eaton Socon, Eaton Ford, Southoe, Little Paxton, Great Staughton, Buckden, Toseland and Perry.

Detective Inspector Jon McAdam said: "In the past few months we have seen a rise in burglaries in the town and surrounding area which we believe may be part of a series.

"The majority of offences are happening during the day with offenders targeting homes while people are working.

"Local officers are working with the force's tactical team and traffic officers to increase patrols in the targeted areas and work is ongoing to trace those responsible and we have made several arrest in recent weeks.

"The public also play an important role and I would urge people to remain vigilant to activity in their neighbourhood, reporting anything out of the ordinary or suspicious to police."

To reduce the risk of becoming a victim, police have issued the following advice:

- It's important to make your home look lived in and ask neighbours to keep an eye on it when you are not in. Consider installing light timers. Burglars will target homes in darkness as there is less of a risk of being spotted. If the bins are due to be collected, ask your neighbours to move them on and off your drive for you.

- Report unusual activity such as people knocking at your door. If you believe someone knocking at your door could be a burglar then contact police immediately. This type of information can be used to gain a better understanding of how criminals are operating in your area.

- Keep a note of any unusual vehicles parking in your area and pass information to the police.

- Install an alarm - even an empty box on the side of your home can be enough to put off a burglar.

- A `beware of the dog' sign can be enough to put off an intruder, regardless of whether a dog is present.

- Lock up your shed: Offenders do not like carrying break-in tools as they may be searched en-route to a burglary. They often raid sheds to get their hands on tools to burgle.

- Strong communities are also a deterrent for burglars: Make friends with your neighbours or join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

CONTACT: Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.