MPS Launches Autumn Nights
07 October 2012
The MPS launches Autumn Nights, its seasonal awareness campaign to combat burglary, robbery and anti-social behaviour.
Londoners become more vulnerable to burglars at this time of year as the evenings get darker with burglars on the prowl for valuables and cash.
Each borough has been asked to have in place plans to address seasonal rises in burglary, robbery and anti-social behaviour.
As part of the continued activity to target known and wanted burglary offenders in London, a pre-planned operation took place across the boroughs of Barnet and Enfield on Thursday 4 October. Nine search warrants were executed at addresses resulting in the arrest of seven people for theft, drug and other associated violent offences. A quantity of stolen goods were recovered and are in the process of being identified to their rightful owners.
The MPS will also be using the campaign to call on Londoners to take simple steps to secure their home from burglars. It comprises of radio ads, posters, newspaper ads and digital/mobile targeting, urging homeowners and tenants to follow crime prevention advice and make their home one to avoid.
Det. Superintendent Simon Letchford, in charge of Autumn Nights, said: "As well as operational plans to address these crime challenges, the intention is to direct Safer Neighbourhood teams and other local police resources to key risk dates and events on each borough.
"The Met takes burglary seriously - we want people to feel safe in their homes and in their communities and we are committed to catching burglars. We will use all methods and technology available to us to do so.
"We are also determined to raise people's awareness of security and help stop burglary from happening in the first place.
"Burglary, on the whole, is an opportunist crime, often resulting from insecure premises.
"A burglar will select their target because it offers them the best opportunity to carry out their crime undetected and with the fewest number of obstacles in their way. A building that presents itself as unoccupied and insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one which is properly secured.
"I would ask all officers and staff to inform their friends and family of how they can protect their homes."
Safer Neighbourhoods Teams are also available to advise the public about the security of their property. For more advice you can contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team. In an emergency, always dial 999.
Ten top burglary crime prevention tips for Londoners:
1. Mark or etch your property with your postcode, house or flat number or the first three letters of your house name.
2. Register items with a serial number at http://www.immobilise.com/
3. Do not leave your car keys, valuables or ID documents near a door, letterbox or window.
4. Always check who's at the door and don't open it if you feel anxious.
5. Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
6. Keep your valuables out of sight.
7. Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home.
8. Fit a mortice lock to your front door and other external doors. Consider installing a burglar alarm.
9. Always keep sheds and outbuildings locked.
10. Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks at a time.
Towards the end of the month, with Halloween and Bonfire Nights approaching, the MPS will be cracking down on crime and anti-social behaviour associated with these two events.
Officers will be carrying out after-school patrols at key locations, such as town centres and transport hubs, to disrupt potential involvement in robbery, violence and other criminal activities which impact on our neighbourhoods.
They will also be using screening arches as part of wider detection tactics to deter the carriage of weapons and will take part in test sale operations with Trading Standards regarding the sale of fireworks, alcohol and over-the-counter weapons.
Keep an eye on the Internet throughout October for further items on the Met's activities on Autumn Nights.