Autumn and winter typically see a rise in the burglary rate across the UK as thieves take advantage of the long hours of darkness. This tends to occur from when the clocks go back, which this year will happen on October 25th at 02:00am. After this point, the nights will be longer and it will get dark earlier, giving criminals more time in which to work.
Luckily, the Metropolitan Police Service (Met) has a plan to help people keep their homes secure, which should help them avoid falling victim to a break-in this winter. They are rolling out a programme called "Clocks, Locks and Lights" - which has seen success before - in six boroughs across North London.
The initiative was brought into effect in 2014 in the borough of Barnet, and its success has meant it will now be unveiled in Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Camden and Islington as well. The week beginning October 12th will see an increased police presence, with 500 police officers visiting around 200 streets in each of the boroughs.
Clocks Locks and Lights originally involved a leafletting campaign, with residents in the various boroughs being given flyers informing them of the steps they can take to improve their security. These included security timer switches, security lights, locks and alarms, as well as other tips for a safer winter.
This year, SECOM will be sponsoring the initiative, helping to fund the production of half a million leaflets that will be given out during street visits, on police ward stands and in shopping centres and transport hubs. In this way, the firm hopes to improve the lives of Londoners by giving them the information they need to keep their homes safe.
Clocks, Locks and Lights is part of the Met's wider programme: Operation Bumblebee. With these initiatives, it is hoped that the threat of burglary during the winter months can be reduced and people throughout the capital can feel safer in their homes.