POLICE are urging homeowners to pick up a spade in the fight against burglars.
But rather than encouraging vigilante action, they want residents to plant up their gardens with shrubs to form a natural defence against crime.
Planting thorny and spiky greenery can create barriers to burglars and may may them think twice about committing daylight shrubbery.
Councillor Brian Roberts, chairman of the Community Safety Partner-ship, said: "This scheme, while having a practical crime prevention aspect, is also good for the environment as it gives advice to householders on what to look out for when protecting their property and what types of plants they can use to form a natural defence.
"Burglars are opportunists who will look for easy pickings with an easy way in and out."
PC Mark Bates said: "Residents have a crucial role to play in making it difficult for burglars to operate. This initiative aims to help people protect their homes using nature itself and giving practical crime prevention advice."
Leaflets will be available at garden centres within the borough including Read Garden Centre, Great Harwood; Nursery End Garden Centre, Clayton-le-Moors; Brookside Nurseries, Roundhill Road, Oswaldtwistle and Homebase, Accrington. They are also available from local libraries.