Police in Teddington have issued a warning after a “spate of burglaries” in the area.

End of terrace homes or houses that back onto green or open areas are being targeted as they provide easier access.

A rear window is normally broken with a thorough search inside and jewellery taken.

A spokesman for Teddington police said: “As the local team in Teddington we try to foot patrol down our residential roads and we’ve also been leafleting to raise awareness around burglaries, a lot of our residents are unsure when and what is suitable to call 999 on so we’ve been trying to clarify that for them as well.

“We’re also trying to raise it on social media and during foot patrols we try car door handles to make sure cars are locked and also keep an eye out for any open doors or windows for homes.”

If residents see someone paying too much attention to parked cars and frequently loitering seemingly without purpose they should call the police, or if one or more people appear to be paying attention to houses or the sides of houses and particularly if down a cul-de-sac or a non-cut through road they should do the same.

Every year there is a surge in burglaries in December- last year on Christmas Eve alone there were 189 burglaries across London.

Superintendent Sean Wilson, the Met’s operational lead for burglary, said: “Burglary can be a very traumatic experience which can have a long-lasting impact on victims, especially at this time of year.

“The Met is continually working hard to prevent offences occurring, arrest offenders and support victims of crime.

“Please be vigilant and if you see anything suspicious contact police with a description of the people and any vehicle they are using.

“In the event you witness a crime in progress call 999 immediately.”

Londoners are advised to:

• Keep gifts and valuables out of view – placing gifts in plain view of windows will draw attention to your house and its contents.

• Be cautious when using social media – do not advertise your home is empty by showing you are somewhere else or having a countdown to your winter holiday.

• Consider using a timer to turn on your lights, your radio or TV to ensure you house appears to be occupied.

• Ask a family member or neighbour to pop in and open and close your curtains at various times and ask them to turn on lights if there isn’t a timer – so a potential thief does not spot a pattern.

• Dispose of boxes and rubbish discreetly.

• Leaving boxes outside will give away the fact that you have new and valuable items in the house.

• Consider property marking your valuables so that in the unfortunate event of a burglary it will help police to have a better chance of recovering your belongings.

• Protect yourself from distraction burglary, also known as ‘artifice burglary’ - a crime where a person tricks an occupant into allowing them into their property.

• Always ask for identification and never open the door to a stranger until you are fully satisfied they are who they say they are.

• Keep an eye out for vulnerable people within your community to help keep them safe.