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Be safe and protect your property from burglars this winter

SAFETY FIRST: The Met are issuing safety guidelines for homeowners and occupiers

AS THE clocks go back and the nights draw in, the Met has intensified its efforts to crack down on burglary and those who handle stolen goods.

Homes remaining in darkness for longer in the evenings highlight the fact they may be empty, making them more attractive to burglars at this time of year.

According to the Met, specialist teams will be deployed to track down wanted burglary suspects, whilst high visibility patrols will take place in burglary hotspot areas.

Officers will also be targeting organised criminal groups who continue to prey on the elderly and vulnerable by pretending to be officials to gain access to their homes.

Superintendent Sean Wilson, the Met’s operational lead for burglary said:

“Burglary remains an important issue for the Met due to its devastating impact on victims.

“All burglaries will have an initial investigation and the level of further investigation will depend upon the realistic chances of identifying a suspect.

“I would ask Londoners to take simple measures to protect their homes. Follow our three Step Protect advice by protecting your property both inside and out.

Keep your home safe by remembering 3 Step Protect: Valuables, Building, Outside. Consider all three areas to protect your home from burglary.

1. Protect your valuables

- Don’t advertise your goods. Always keep valuables like tablets and laptops out of sight from windows and store keys away from the letterbox.

- Help police identify your property if stolen by using a property marking kit and taking photos. The MPS is currently providing SmartWater kits as part of the MetTrace operation.

- Consider buying a safe or using other safe storage providers.

2. Safeguard your building

- Lock all windows and double lock doors when you go out, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

- Make your home look occupied: use timer lights when the nights get longer, and cancel deliveries if you’re going away.

- Make sure your locks are strong enough to keep burglars out.

- Keep gates, sheds and garages locked and don’t leave tools lying around as they can be used to break in.

- Keep hedges at the front low and install outdoor lighting, so burglars have nowhere to hide.

- Install trellises and spiky plants to stop burglars from climbing over fences.

For more advice on how to keep your home safe, visit: https://www.met.police.uk/burglary

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