A crackdown, to prevent burglaries and encourage people to protect their homes is being launched again this autumn by Essex Police.

Codenamed Operation Meteor, the crackdown encourages people to mark their valuables to make them less attractive to thieves which in turn reduces burglary.

It also introduces policing tactics to catch criminals not used across Essex on this scale before.

This week, dozens of officers in Buckhurst Hill and across the county were deployed to help reduce burglary and build on this summer’s successful campaign.

A statement from Essex Police said: “Our operational activity will be focused in ten areas across the county.

“We will be focusing on areas including Buckhurst Hill so we can work best with residents to have the most successful outcome to reduce burglary in Essex.

In June this year the property marking campaign, encouraging residents to protect their belongings, resulted in a 26 per cent decrease in burglary across Essex.

Property marking is a proven deterrent to thieves, and it makes it harder for criminals to sell on stolen goods.

Data suggests the use of property marking products significantly increase the chance of convicting a suspect, with SmartWater and SelectaDNA having a 100 per cent conviction rate.

Residents can protect their property by marking it with both hidden and visible marking.

Hidden marking can be anything from UV pens to logging and photographing items you own.

As part of the operation, second-hand shops are working in partnership with us to make property ‘too hot to handle’.

Every item taken to second-hand shops will be checked for property marking and each suspect in custody will be scanned for traces of forensic marking liquids.

Chief Superintendent Ewen Wilson, Essex Police’s lead for burglary, said: “Burglary and theft is an intrusive and personal crime that effects our communities.

“When a victim has their home burgled it has a real impact on their feeling of safety and can take many months or years for those targeted to feel truly safe again in their own home.

“Our previous operational activity was a success and resulted in a significant decrease in burglary.

“This is testament to the fact that property marking, which is such a simple thing to do, can make a difference to our communities, make residents feel safer.

“We are encouraging residents to mark their property as well as visit our website to read and share our crime prevention advice.

“We want to educate the public about security measures they can take. But we also want criminals to know that we are making life harder for them as property marking makes it much easier for us to catch them and bring them to justice.”

A campaign video explaining how property marking can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/baKW_kVPVf4

Essex Police are encouraging residents to ‘talk about crime’ together by sharing their crime prevention advice with friends and family. Find out more about property marking by visiting: www.essex.police.uk/letstalk