Autumn Nights: Stay vigilant!

Police crack down on anti-social behaviour and crime

As the nights draw in, don’t fall victim to crime. Stay vigilant of crime and anti-social behaviour, police warn – especially if you’re out enjoying Halloween and Bonfire Night festivities.

The Met’s annual Autumn Nights campaign – which runs into the new year - is supported by everyday policing activities.  

Safer Neighbourhood Team officers will carry out additional patrols, encourage doing more to curb anti-social behaviour  and visit vulnerable residents to reassure them and offer crime prevention advice.

Inspector Tanya Sprunks, in charge of Harrow Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “Autumn is the peak time for break-ins and anti-social behaviour because the longer dark nights create more cover for criminals and nocturnal mischief.

“That’s why we are making an extra effort to remind people who are out having fun on Halloween or Bonfire Night to make it as tricky as possible for wrong-doers to strike.

“While looking up at the fireworks, make sure your own valuables are safely out of sight. Think about locking the car door, leaving the lights on at home and trying not to use your mobile phone when you’re on the street.

“It’s not rocket science but staying vigilant means everyone can enjoy the autumn nights and stay safe.”

Councillor Krishna Suresh, Crime and Community Safety Member for Harrow Council, said: “The council and police recognise this can be a frightful time of year for older and vulnerable people who may not feel comfortable opening their door to trick-or-treaters or being home alone in the dead of night.

“Many people are also worried about the misuse of fireworks – which obviously causes lasting effects. We want everyone to keep their eyes open, look out for each other and behave sensibly.”

In Harrow, Autumn Nights will be supported by Safer Neighbourhood policing teams, youth engagement officers - working with licensing teams to reduce disorderly behaviour -and volunteer police cadets - taking part in test purchase operations with Trading Standards to uncover the illegal sale of fireworks, alcohol and knives to underage customers.

Officers from our roads and transport team in partnership with Transport for London will be carrying out increased patrols to prevent disorder on buses and at transport hubs around Harrow engaging with young people to offer them travel safety advice.

Alongside Autumn Nights campaign, the Be Safe campaign has a 3-step protect approach to keep homes safe:

1. Protect your valuables - don't advertise your valuables, such as tablets and laptops, by keeping them out of view through windows. Store keys away from the letterbox. Use a property marking kit and take photos of your valuables to help Police identify your property if its stolen. 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 are going away. Make sure your locks are strong enough to keep burglars out.

3. Secure your outside - Keep gates, sheds and garages locked. 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.

The Harrow police twitter account @MPSHarrow provides regular crime prevention updates as well as the Online Watch Link (OWL). Residents can join OWL by visiting www.owl.co.uk



Published: October 30th 2019