Police in Harrow are urging residents to take simple steps to secure their home as a crackdown gets under way to tackle the rise in residential burglary offences traditionally seen during autumn and winter nights.
While overall Harrow has reportedly seen fewer residential burglaries in the past year, according to Met Police there tends to be a seasonal increase in burglary during this period.
This reportedly coincides with the clocks going back on October 25, increasing the hours of darkness, and potentially providing criminals with more opportunities.
A Met Police spokesman said: “Officers in Harrow will be visible carrying out extra patrols, visiting homes and schools and setting up crime prevention stalls in numerous places across the borough.
“They will employ a range of proactive measures including traditional tactics and the use of science and technology.
“This includes the roll-out of an innovative forensic property marking system named MetTrace in partnership with SmartWater, which was launched in May and is now being delivered to every London borough.”
Met Police will also use predictive crime mapping, which takes historic crime data and models the likely locations for future offences.
Specialist manhunt teams will be deployed to track down the most evasive wanted burglary suspects, while high visibility patrols will take place in burglary hot spots, driven by the use of predictive crime mapping.
Harrow Borough Commander, Simon Ovens , said: “Burglary has a painful and long lasting effect on its victims and the Met is committed to driving down the number of offences.
“Officers work hard every day to prevent burglaries, arrest offenders and support victims.
“In the rolling 12 months, burglary in Harrow has seen a 15.4% reduction, meaning 289 fewer victims.”
As the clocks go back and nights draw in, homes remain in darkness for longer, making them easier targets.
Met Police have advised the public to:
- Ensure doors and windows are properly locked with a key when leaving home;
- Use time switches to operate lights in the home;
- If you have an alarm in you home ensure that you set it every time you go out;
- 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;
- Photograph expensive items such as jewellery;
- Keep jewellery locked away in a secured and fixed safe within your home;
- Register all your valuables for free at www.immobilise.com