People working from home in Dumbarton and the Vale during the coronavirus pandemic are being urged to store equipment such as computers and tablets out of sight when not in use.

Co-op Insurance says simple, effective steps can ensure homes remain safe from opportunistic thieves.

The company is also warning that two fifths of home theft occurs after the clocks go forward.

In addition, the number of thefts due to homeowners being ‘distracted’ increases when the clocks change and account for a tenth of break-ins.

The advice includes keeping windows and doors locked as much as possible, particularly in rooms that aren’t being occupied, and not allowing access to people you don’t know without checking their ID.

Caroline Hunter, head of Co-op Home Insurance, said: “There’s a misconception that people’s homes won’t be targeted when they’re occupied and so we’re doing what we can to encourage people to remain vigilant all year round, to help keep homes and communities safe.

“Nobody should have to go through the trauma of having their property burgled and so where people are working from home, it’s important they don’t relax the home security measures.”

Co-op Insurance has pledged that itscustomers’ cover will not be affected when working from home and any additional IT equipment used for clerical work is now automatically covered under their home insurance policies.