POLICE have pledged to beat the annual spike in the number of burglaries between late-September and Christmas.
Criminals target the homes of Hindu families which they know will be displaying valuables during the festivals of Diwali and Navratri.
Chief inspector Louis Smith is leading Harrow police's drive to cut burglaries this year.
He told the Harrow Observer his officers would be targetting not only the housebreakers but the jewellers and pawn shops that buy their stolen goods.
At the same time the simple steps householders can take to protect their homes will be emphasised at temples and by safer neighbourhoods teams in each of the borough's wards.
Ch Insp Smith urged the public to be vigilant: "This is a low-crime borough but there are times of the year when we have to concentrate on different types of crime, this is one.
"It peaks from October to Christmas and is higher than average until February-March time before going down again."
Starting this week his team will be urging the public to:
Buy a small safe to store valuables.
Photograph each item of jewellery separately before the festivals start.
Use time switches to operate lights in the home when you're not in.
The burglary team said a small borough like Harrow would have less than 10 housebreakers active at any one time.
These tend to operate within one or two miles of their own home and very rarely more than five.