POLICE are warning residents to ensure the locks on their homes are up to scratch after a spate of vehicle thefts in the north of the borough.

Officers have reported keys from high performance cars ­— including BMWs, Audis and Mercedes ­— being stolen by thieves targetting door locks.

They are now encouraging householders to follow several simple steps to ensure their properties are secure.

In a statement shared on Facebook, GMP Bury North said: "We take the security of our locks for granted, but local criminals can attack some door locks very easily, without much skill and in no time at all. It only takes them seconds.

"Check what locks you have fitted to your doors and unless they have a three star kite mark on them you need to think about changing them."

Greater Manchester Police advise residents to follow these four steps:

1. Check your door locks.

2. Keep car keys out of sight ­— do not leave them where they can be seen through door glass and windows.

3. Put your car away in the garage at night.

4. If your house alarm system has different zone settings, activate the downstairs zone when you go to bed at night.

Residents with any concerns are also advised to seek the services of an authorised locksmith.

For more information visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/sites/default/files/files/crime-prevention/a6_euro_gatefold_layout_1.pdf

To find an authorised locksmith in Bury visit www.locksmiths.co.uk/find-a-locksmith/