WEST Mercia Police (WMP) have issued advice to residents in Shropshire and Telford after a spate of burglaries in the region.

Police are warning residents to take care of their family gold following incident which resulted in jewellery being taken.

The force confirmed there have been 15 incidents in the last month in which homes were broken into and jewellery was taken.

Detective Sergeant Paul Smeilus said an increase in incidents of this kind is not unusual at this time of year.

He said: “During the festive season people understandably choose to wear their jewellery during the celebrations.

“Unfortunately burglars then target the houses they believe will have the most accessible jewellery.

"We believe these people were targeted by burglars who know what they were looking for.

“They may have visited the property beforehand and then returned with a vehicle to carry out the thefts.

“Please be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in your area.

"It is therefore extremely important that when you are not wearing your jewellery you keep in a safe location, ideally a locked safe or drawer.

“It is also important to keep your home as secure as possible."

Police have urged residents to store valuables safely in a deposit box or bank vault.

Those keeping gold at home are advised to install a safe that meets British Standard EN 1143-1 and the police recognised “Secured By Design” standards.

The safe needs to be securely attached to the building (ideally bolted to, or embedded in, a solid concrete floor).

Other security measures such as CCTV, alarms are recommended, as well as security marking your jewellery with a forensic marking product such as SMARTWATER.

People are advised against advertising jewellery and police have warned against posting photos of your jewellery on social media.

WMP also suggest keeping wheelie bins, and other items that can be used to climb into windows, stored away, as well as keeping windows and doors shut and locked when away from home.