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Areas of Havering are UK burglary hotspots, it has been revealed.

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Tips to beat the burglar

1. Make sure all windows and doors are locked – even if you are going out for a few minutes. Over the holiday season patio and back doors were targeted to gain entry. If using a uPVC door – lock it correctly – closing the door and pushing up the handle will not prevent someone entering.

2. Keep your valuables out of sight. Photograph them – this may assist in getting them back to you in the future.

3. Fit a mortise lock to your front door and other external doors. Consider installing a burglar alarm.

4. Leave some lights on or use a timer switch if it will be dark before you get home.

5. Do not leave your car keys or ID documents near a door, letterbox or window. Thieves will use all the methods they can to take your property including “fishing” through small letterboxes and windows.

6. Always check who’s at the door and do not open it if you feel anxious

7. Always keep outbuildings and sheds locked. Do not give the burglar the tools they need to break into your house.

8. Mark your property with your postcode and house number. We may be able to return it to you if it is found.

9. Register all items with a serial number at www.immobolise.com

10. Cancel milk and deliveries if you are likely to be away.

Residents in Harold Hill, Harold Wood and Noak Hill are the fifth most likely to fall victim to housebreakers and thieves targeting gardens, according to insurers’ stats.

The figures come just weeks after the Recorder reported the tragic story of war veteran Raymond Grinyer, 85, who suffered a fatal heart attack after discovering his Harold Hill home had been ransacked by thieves.

The great-grandfather died on January 6, hours after inspecting the chaos caused by looters at his home in Grange Road.

Havering’s acting borough commander Det Supt Tony Bennett, a former murder detective, said tackling burglary in the borough was his highest priority.

“We will try to circulate images on police indices within 24-48 hours and then into the community soon after that,” he said. “My experience in dealing with homicide is speed is the key. Arresting them early gives us the best opportunity to get supporting evidence. And it sends out the message to the victim, and the wider community, that we are managing risks and harm.”

There is an average of 30 to 40 break-ins a week, up just over two per cent since last year, Mr Bennett said.

Eccles in Manchester is fourth worst in the country for burglaries, and North Finchley, in London, is in third place, behind the BD12 postcode area in Bradford, and first place LS13 postcode in Leeds.

Other London areas in the top 10 are Balham, south west London, at sixth, Hayes, west London, at eighth and East Dulwich, south London, at ninth.

The data released by MoneySupermarket also found that on average homeowners living in higher risk postcodes will pay a fifth more for their home insurance.

Hannah Jones, home insurance expert at MoneySupermarket, said: “While there are clearly some areas of the country with a higher proportion of insurance claims for burglary than others, this doesn’t actually mean the area is “rife” with crime.

“Thieves often specifically target areas with wealthy residents, or quieter areas where there’s not a lot of passing foot traffic, where the rewards are potentially greater and the risk of being caught in the act may be lower.

“Areas affected by higher rates of burglary insurance claims will see their premiums impacted – increasing by a fifth on average.

“Higher value properties could expect to pay even more than this. Insurers take a blanket approach to assessing postcode districts for home insurance premiums rather than looking at insurance applications on a case by case basis.

“So, although you may not have been a victim of burglary directly, you could be paying more for insurance if there are higher rates of burglary claims made within your postal area.

“The key thing is not to simply accept your insurance renewal – even if you live in a postcode which has a higher claim rate for burglaries, you can still save a packet by doing your research and switching to a better deal online.”

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