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Oct 31 2011

Guard Against Burglars This Winter

The MPS is urging homeowners and tenants to take simple steps to guard against the risk of being targeted by burglars this winter.

As the Met launches its seasonal awareness campaign, new data demonstrates how Londoners become more vulnerable to burglars during the winter months. Last year offences increased by one third [34 per cent] between November 2010 and February 2011 [average 194 offences per day] compared to April to August 2010 [average 145 offences per day].

As evenings get darker, burglars are on the prowl for valuables and cash, recognising that homes tend to be getting ready for seasonal celebrations and may have gifts and items around and on display.

During this period, properties remain in darkness for much longer periods which make them easier to target, especially if there are no obvious signs there is anyone home.

The MPS is using the campaign to call on Londoners to take simple steps to secure their home from burglars. It comprises of radio ads, posters on the underground, direct mail shots and newspaper ads, urging homeowners and tenants to follow crime prevention advice and make their home one to avoid.

Advice to Londoners includes:

  • Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
  • Make sure you do not leave your car keys, valuables or ID documents near a door, letterbox or window.
  • Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home
  • Mark or etch your property with your postcode, house or flat number or the first three letters of your house name.

While prevention is vital, the MPS recognises the need to target known or suspected burglars and is constantly working across many fronts to increase its effectiveness in tackling burglary.

We use the national fingerprint identification database and extensive DNA procedures to raise the number of offenders identified through forensic intervention at all burglary scenes.

We also maximise the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover stolen money and property that is the result of criminal activity by convicted offenders. Each borough ensures that it makes the best use of dynamic intelligence profiling and operational assets to come up with bespoke plans to tackle specific burglary issues that may arise in its area. Safer Neighbourhoods Teams are also available to advise the public about the security of their property.

For more crime prevention tips and advice on how to make your home secure visit www.metbumblebee.org or contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team. In an emergency, always dial 999.

Ten top burglary crime prevention tips for Londoners:

  • Mark or etch your property with your postcode, house or flat number or the first three letters of your house name.
  • Register items with a serial number at www.immobilise.com
  • Do not leave your car keys, valuables or ID documents near a door, letterbox or window.
  • Always check who’s at the door and don’t open it if you feel anxious.
  • Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight
  • Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home
  • Fit a mortice lock to your front door and other external doors.
  • Consider installing a burglar alarm.
  • Always keep sheds and outbuildings locked
  • Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks at a time.
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