Met Police advice – Keep sheds and outbuildings secure

There have been a number of incidents involving sheds, garages and outbuildings over recent weeks in Croydon.

Make sure that yours are locked and secure to save you becoming a victim.


Beware! Police report bogus Water Board callers operating across Croydon

The Police have had a number of reported incidents of people saying they are from the Water Board who have gained or attempted to gain entry into homes in Croydon right across the borough. 

Please see the crime prevention advice below and circulate it to friends/family.  Please make elderly and vulnerable people you know aware as they are more likely to fall victim to this type of scam.

Distraction burglary 
Distraction burglars pretend to be someone they are not in order to enter your home to steal.

The most common methods include:
•       Pretending to be from a utility company investigating a gas or water leak
•       Asking for help to leave a note for a neighbour.
•       Claiming to be in a hurry or an emergency and needing to get into your home quickly.
•       Working in teams where one person distracts you while another searches your home.

 Remember – If in doubt, keep them out!

•       Always  check the identity of any caller – use your door viewer to see who is there and keep the door chain on.

•       Ask for ID and check it with the company before letting somebody in.
•       Use the phone number advertised in the phone book or online, as the number on their identity card could be fake. For a utility company, call the customer service  department.  Close the door while you do this.

Remember, genuine callers won’t mind checks. If you feel at all unsure, schedule a time for the caller to come back when a friend or relative is there. 

For pre-planned appointments with utility companies, a password scheme can be set up.  Then, if they call they will not only have to provide proof identity but this pre-agreed password.

If a distraction burglar has entered your home, be careful not to touch anything as there may be forensic evidence to trace the suspect. Call the police immediately.

Seasonal burglary prevention advice as part of the Met’s Operation Bumblebee


Advice from Croydon Police on the Met’s Operation Bumblebee – the seasonal crackdown on burglary

Burglars will have “nowhere to hide” as the Met launch its seasonal crackdown on burglary and those who handle stolen goods.

Operation Bumblebee sees officers intensifying their efforts to work with forces from across the country to target burglars who try to evade capture by travelling across county lines.

Meanwhile we are calling on Londoners to act now and follow basic crime prevention advice to protect their homes at a time when we traditionally see a rise in residential burglary offences.

Keep your homes safe
As the clocks go back, and nights draw in, homes remain in darkness for longer, making them easier targets. The public are advised to:

•       Ensure doors and windows are properly locked with a key when leaving home;
•       Keep valuables out of sight and out of reach;
•       Lock side gates and store bins behind them;
•       Avoid leaving packaging outside, which may indicate you have expensive new items in your home, especially around Christmas time.

As part of Operation Bumblebee, officers will employ a range of proactive measures including traditional tactics, working with forces from across the country, and the use of science and technology.

Specialist manhunt teams will be deployed to track down the most evasive wanted burglary suspects, whilst high-visibility patrols will take place in burglary hot spots, driven by the use of predictive crime mapping.


Top ten tips for securing your home:

1. Don’t leave your keys or ID documents within easy reach of doors, letterboxes or windows.

2. Close and lock all doors and windows. If you have multi-locking door handles, lift the handle, lock it with the key and remove it. Remember – LIFT – LOCK – REMOVE. Put the key in a safe place out of sight in case of fire.

3. Lock garages and sheds so garden tools and ladders can’t be used to break into your home.

4. Keep side gates locked and wheelie bins stored behind them.

5. Use timer switches linked to lights and a radio so it appears that someone is at home.

6. Invest in a safe for valuables and sentimental items and securely fix it to a solid surface.

7. Install a visible intruder alarm system – burglars don’t want to be seen or heard.

8. Install low level ‘dusk till dawn’ lighting to increase visibility and deter burglars.

9. Keep side and rear boundaries high to restrict access and front boundaries low to remove hiding places.

10. Photograph and mark valuables and sentimental items with your postcode and house number/name.

More information
Register items with serial numbers at:

For more help and advice visit:



Burglary prevention – MPS advice recommend these tips to lessen your risk of a break in:

Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn key)

Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
Install a visual burglar alarm
Install good outside lighting

Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property

Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied

Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition

Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage

Keep ladders and tools stored away; don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home

Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property

Ensure rear fencing is in good repair

Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges

Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with

Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
Store any high-value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a properly secured safe or bank vault

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