With the advent of longer nights after the autumn equinox, opportunistic burglars are finding it easier to break into houses and businesses under cover of the dark. Ours is a wealthy residential area which is one of the top burglary hotspots in the capital, so please be vigilant and do everything you can to deter criminals.
A local resident writes: “Last night the security camera at the rear of our house captured a man jumping over one of our side fences and into our garden at 01:12am. He was in the garden for approximately 30 seconds before jumping back over the fence once again. He seemed to have a small touch with him and did not approach the house but instead looked around the garden before leaving. Obviously this is very worrying and as such please can you all be very vigilant and make sure that your gardens / garden gates are secured in case he returns. We have informed the local police and just wanted to warn everyone else. I have reported this information to the police.”
Other local businesses have reported attempted break ins in the last few days. One of the local kitchen design studios nearly had its van broken into a few days ago on Elm Road. A van pulled up alongside and tried prying open the side doors with a crowbar.
The Met Police have got lots of useful information on the subject on their website. You can also get good crime prevention advice from your insurance company too, but here are some tips. Make sure you close and lock all doors and windows and keep your shed locked too. If you keep valuable bikes in a shed, it may be worth installing a ground anchor to secure them. If you have valuable documents or jewellery, keep them in a safe – a fireproof and waterproof one will protect them from fires or water damage too. Register your bicycles and use police-approved UV markers and/or databases for marking and registering your other valuables.
It’s worth having a burglar alarm fitted and if you have one, make sure you use it. Outside lights are useful too, and CCTV, but make sure you fit cameras according to current legislation. Burglars are on internet forums too: don’t post on social media platforms about the times you will be away for holiday – this includes advertising for pet or house sitters. And don’t forget to cancel newspapers and the milk if you go away. Most of our roads have a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, so feel free to join if you haven’t already.