Safer Neighbourhoods Inspector Neil Tyre said: "This week many householders will be noticing that darkness would have fallen long before they get home from work - a period that burglars are known to take advantage of unless householders are prepared.
"Of course, we are looking to householders to protect their homes such as with timers on their lights to make it look like their home is occupied - and making sure windows and doors are locked and secured.
"But we are also keen for employees and workers such as those from Sutton Council and from charity and voluntary sector organisations, along with members of Neighbourhood Watch, who are out and about as darkness begins to fall, to be vigilant and to report anyone acting suspiciously to police on 999 immediately.
"Your vigilance may help us reduce burglary during this late afternoon period and you will not be wasting our time. We would rather come out and check that everything is OK, than to find out later that someone has become a victim of crime," he said.
Residents are being advised that there are a number of steps they can take to make their home less likely to be targeted by burglars. Our advice includes:
- use timers on lights, radios and audio systems to come on when it gets dark to make it look like you are at home; change the rooms used and times to avoid predictability
- install exterior lights such as those which turn on when someone comes into their field of vision
- remove front and back door keys from locks and place them out of sight
- always remember to keep doors and windows locked
On Sunday, 25 October, clocks were turned back at 02:00hrs by 1hr to 01:00hrs - making the mornings lighter and the evenings darker.