Information and advice on crime prevention and how to report a crime.
Crime prevention advice
The Metropolitan Police has practical advice about how to protect yourself or your business from crime.
Report a crime
If you or another person are at immediate risk of harm you should call the police on 999.
If it's a non-emergency situation you can call the police on 101 or report it online.
While the police, council and Community Safety Partnership work hard to prevent crime, one of the best ways to reduce crime is for residents to be aware of how they can prevent themselves from becoming victims of crime or scams.
Becoming a victim of crime can be extremely distressing and criminals look for signs of vulnerability or valuables to target. The tips you can find in this section can help you to improve your resilience and make you less likely to be targeted.
Burglary Toggle accordion
Here are some tips to deter burglars:
- close and lock all your keys and windows unless you are in that room
- lock all UPVC doors with a key, but don’t leave it in the door, put it somewhere nearby where a burglar won’t be able to see it but you can find it in an emergency
- put lights and radios or televisions on a timer control so that it looks like someone is at home if you are away
- store all your valuables (such as jewellery) securely
- don’t leave keys or valuables anywhere where they can be seen from outside
- lock away ladders and gardening tools
- don’t leave spare keys outside the house or inside the letterbox
- secure your shed with a padlock and alarm
Lift Lock Remove (PDF, 124.55 KB)
It is very distressing to be robbed at any time, but especially over Christmas. To help stop this, please make sure you:
- don’t leave boxes for expensive presents out for recycling. Put them in wheelie bins or burglars will know what’s inside your house!
- keep presents out of sight from outside
Summer and holidays
Going away or leaving windows open in summer can make homes vulnerable to burglary. To reduce this risk:
- have a trusted neighbour check your property and make sure you can’t see post building up or sticking out of the letterbox
- put lights and radios on a timer control so that it looks like someone is at home
- lock your front door and windows if you are out in the garden
If you do become the victim of burglary, make sure you report it. They will be able to investigate the crime and return any recovered property to you. Reporting also helps the police to spot any areas which have been targeted by burglars and do intensive work there to ensure your neighbours are safe.
Be sure to report to the police if you see people hanging around acting suspiciously, knocking on doors or unusual marks or tags appear outside homes. These can all be signs of people finding targets to burgle.
Car crime Toggle accordion
Stealing vehicles and stealing from vehicles is a major priority crime across East London. There is a lot which you can do to secure your vehicle, such as:
- fit tamper-proof number plate screws (garages should be able to fit these when your car is serviced)
- don’t leave any items on display, even if they are not valuable. Even a bag of rubbish could look like there’s something valuable hidden inside!
- don’t just hide your SatNav – wipe away any suction marks on the screen so that a thief can’t tell that you have one hidden away
- don’t leave your car unattended while defrosting windscreens
- always make sure your car is locked
- don’t leave any tools or valuables in the vehicle
If you do have anything stolen from your car please report it. Even if it’s something small and you don’t think it’s worth investigating, the police will be able to spot any areas which are being targeted by thieves if they know about all thefts.
Scams and fraud Toggle accordion
If you spot a scam or have been scammed, report it and get help by contacting Action Fraud (and the police if the suspect is known or still in the area). Don’t be embarrassed to report a scam or fraud if you have been a victim – scammers are very clever and there is no shame in being deceived by them. Reporting scammers makes it more difficult for them to scam other people.
0300 123 2040
Top tips for spotting and avoiding scams are:
- be suspicious of any deal or offer which seems too good to be true
- do not agree to offers or deals immediately and insist on time to get advice before making a decision
- do not hand over money or sign anything until you have checked out the company or individual
- never send money to anyone you do not know or trust (in the UK or abroad) or use methods of payment you are not comfortable with
- never give banking or personal details to anyone you do not know or trust
- always log on to a website directly rather than clicking on links provided by emails. Scammers often pretend to be from a company or website to get your details
- do not rely on testimonials – look for independent evidence of a company’s success
- always get independent or legal advice if an offer involves money, time or commitment