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.
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.
For more crime prevention tips and advice on how to make your home secure visit http://www.metbumblebee.org and www.immobilise.com.