Twenty homes across Hertsmere have been targeted by burglars this month.

Police are warning homeowners to be vigilant after a spate of incidents across the borough in the first two weeks of October.

Burglars have targeted ten homes in Potters Bar, six in Borehamwood, three in Bushey, and one in Radlett, with every incident happening at night and most of them happening over the weekend.

Thirteen of the 20 homes were broken into and the most common item stolen has been jewellery.

Police believe the suspects are coming from outside of the borough.

As a result of the burglaries, police have increased patrols in hotspot areas - but police are also appealing for residents to do their bit to avoid becoming a victim of burglary.

Hertsmere Detective Inspector Michael Macbeth said: “We are prepared for burglars to strike once the clocks go back, but this year we have already seen an increase in burglaries.

"We put a lot of resources in to preventing and detecting every burglary that happens in Hertsmere. We have robust plans in place to prevent burglaries and we know who some of our burglars are, so we keep an extra eye on them, to stop them re-offending.

"Offenders will target items of value. The most common item being stolen is jewellery. I would therefore encourage owners to photograph any valuable items and keep the jewellery in a safe and secure place that is not obvious.

"Keys should also always be kept in a safe and secure location, out of sight and away from windows or letterboxes.

"You can help by double locking PVCu doors, use timer switches on lights, consider investing in alarms, CCTV or doorbell cams and report any suspicious behaviour.

"If you see anyone acting suspiciously or vehicles out of place, please let us know. We’d rather be called to a false alarm than miss an opportunity to catch a burglar in the act."

"Please report a burglary online or call 101. Please do not report crime on social media so we have the best chance of catching the offenders and preventing further offences."