Police issue burglary advice to Havering residents as nights get longer

Residents are being warned to take extra care to protect their property during the run up to winter.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is launching its annual campaign warning people to be on their guard against burglars.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Rickells said: “Being burgled is a distressing experience and the memory of the offence can have a lasting effect.

“The Met takes burglary seriously - we want people to feel safe in their homes and in their communities and we committed to catching burglars and car thieves. We will use all methods and technology available to us to do so.”

As the evenings get darker, the police say that properties become easier to target because there are no obvious signs that anyone is home.

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During the festive season, people are also more likely to leave gifts and items on display.

Detective Rickells said: “Burglary, on the whole, is an opportunist crime, with burglaries often resulting from insecure premises.

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“A burglar will select their target because it offers them the best opportunity to carry out their crime undetected and with the fewest number of obstacles in their way.

“A building that presents itself as unoccupied and insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one which is properly secured.”

Residents are advised to close and lock all doors and windows, even if they are only going out for a few minutes.

They should also make sure they do not leave car keys, valuable and ID documents near a door, letterbox or window and leave some lights on if it will be dark before they get home.

The MPS has released top ten burglary crime prevention tips.

The tips are:

1 Mark or etch your property with your postcode, house or flat number or the first three letters of your house name.

2 Register items with a serial number at www.immobilise.com

3 Do not leave your car keys, valuables or ID documents near a door, letterbox or window.

4 Always check who’s at the door and don’t open it if you feel anxious.

5 Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.

6 Keep your valuables out of sight

7 Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home

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

9 Always keep sheds and outbuildings locked

10 Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks at a time.

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