Londoners are being urged to take simple steps to secure their homes against burglars who capitalise on the darker nights and seasonal celebrations to prowl for valuables.
The Met’s Operation Bumblebee launches today to tackle the 25% rise in home burglaries traditionally seen during autumn and winter as the clocks go back, nights drawn in and homes remain in darkness for longer.
Approximately one third of residential burglaries show no signs of forced entry suggesting that doors or windows were not properly shut – and now the police are advising the public to act now to prevent them being a target.
Commander Simon Letchford, who is leading Operation Bumblebee, said: “Burglary can have a long-lasting emotional impact on victims, leaving them feeling isolated and vulnerable.
“The Met is committed to driving down burglary and is working hard every day to prevent offences, arrest offenders and support victims.
“Burglaries in London are at the lowest level in forty years and we have introduced a range of pro-active measures and use innovative technology to tackle offences, but there are still too many people falling victim to burglary and there is more to do.
- Ensure doors and windows are properly locked with a key when leaving home
- Keep valuables out of sight and out of reach
- Lock side gates and store bins behind them
- Avoid leaving packaging outside, which indicate you have expensive new items in your home, especially around Christmas time.
Specialist manhunt teams will be deployed to track down the most evasive burglary suspects, while high visibility patrols will take place in burglary hot spots, driven by the use of predictive crime mapping.
Under Operation Neptune the MPS maps second-hand markets, negotiates a voluntary Code of Conduct for premises to record sellers’ personal details, checks property with the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit and informs police when stolen property comes into their possession.
Commander Simon Letchford added: “Help us to further prevent burglary by safeguarding your property and valuables.
“Think like a burglar and you are likely to notice that your home and possessions are vulnerable.
“By following our simple crime prevention advice this winter, you can reduce the chances of it happening to you.”
Picture courtesy of Ray Forster, with thanks