Havering experienced a spike in the number of thefts from vehicles in the first month of the year.

According to the Metropolitan Police’s crime data dashboard, there were 147 thefts from vehicles in January 2022.

That was more than double the previous month (72) and the highest level since 2013.

The figure had remained below 100 throughout 2021 but spiked in the new year.

Insp Zed Asghar, the local lead on vehicle crime, said there had been an overall reduction in vehicle crime in Havering over the past two years and said he was tackling the spike in thefts from vehicles “head on”.

He said the force had begun a social media campaign to inform and educate local residents to ensure their vehicles are locked and secure and conducted leaflet drops to inform those who might be at risk of catalytic converter theft.

More broadly, he told the Recorder the borough’s Havering Joint Task Force unit was working with Essex Police on Operation Gambler, which aims to disrupt burglars and carjackers.