By Daily Mail Reporter
Police officers are going to pose as burglars in a bid to get householders to properly secure their homes.
People whose residences are an easy target could be woken in the middle of the night by officers trying windows and doors.
The initiative, code-named Operation Golden, is being launched in a bid to cut break-ins.
It is being trialled by Cheshire Police, who say residents who fall foul of their checks will be roused with a lecture from officers on what they could have lost.
But there is bound to be concern that the police may scare some elderly residents as they pose as burglars.
And with the political debate raging about the rights of homeowners to defend their homes, there is the danger the police themselves may be attacked by people who fear they are genuine intruders.
Insp Gareth Woods, who is heading up the operation, admitted some people will not be happy about the early hours wake-up calls.
The operation is starting in Macclesfield and will be rolled out across East Cheshire.
It has been prompted by statistics which show nearly 40 per cent of all burglaries are carried out through unlocked doors or open windows.
Police and community support officers are also distributing thousands of door-hanger cards which list security checks to be carried out before householders leave home.