Invaluable safety advice from team of volunteers
Volunteers are visiting crime victims to offer them security advice to prevent them being targeted again.
The Blaby Police Volunteers, who have won a string of awards for their crime prevention efforts, are helping about five victims a month.
They have been trained to spot the weak points in a home which could be exploited by intruders.
Jeremy Collingridge, the group's chairman, said: "The police do not always have the time they would like to spend with the public.
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"Officers have the opportunity to ask us to visit victims of burglary, for example, to advise them how they can reduce the likelihood of it happening again.
"Typically, a police officer will ask us to go to see a victim and do what we can to help people help themselves. It can be as simple as standing on the pavement and looking at the house as a burglar might do and suggesting how they can make their homes safer.
"In some cases, it can be advising people to draw their curtains and leave a light on while they are out.
"We could suggest other measures, such as security lighting.
"These are all things which you might find in a crime prevention leaflet, but being human beings, we don't necessarily do."
The group, which was formed in 2002, has been highlighted for a number of crime prevention projects, including the creation and monitoring of "no cold-calling zones" which were set up to tackle the problem of bogus callers.
They have also combated domestic violence by installing cameras in victims' homes.
The 10 members of the team were named "volunteers of the year" at the chief constable's awards ceremony, held at Leicestershire police headquarters, in Enderby.
The team has won the same title four times in the past five years.
Inspector Sanj Pattani, commander of Blaby police, said: "Although they have been in existence since 2002, they will not stand still and have continued to evolve in 2013.
"They remain self-funded and are making good use of technology, which has enabled them to effectively support victims and those who are most needy.
"I am delighted their dedication and commitment has once again been recognised."
Leicestershire police hopes to recruit up to 90 people to work voluntarily alongside its beat teams across the city and county before the end of the year.
For more on volunteering opportunities, call the force on 101.