A "crimewave" in a village has led to dozens of people convening to discuss how they can protect themselves and their properties.

Around 60 attendees packed into the Henderson Hub in High Street, Abbots Langley after a rise in the number of burglaries and vehicle crimes in the area.

The meeting was led by security expert Oliver Hinks, of DCA Security Systems, and included talks by neighbourhood watch liaison officer Philip Waine and a Met Police criminal intelligence analyst.

Mr Hinks stressed the importance of "doing the basics". He said he had been in touch with a burglary victim last week who admitted they had not done the basics like locking their property properly.

Mr Waine said 60 per cent of cars broken into in Abbots Langley were unlocked.

Mr Hinks added: "A lot of people don't do the basics which drastically increases the chances of being burgled. I've lived in Abbots Langley all my life and I've never seen this amount of break-ins in the area.

"As a community struggling with a crimewave, we need to look out."

Mr Waine encouraged people to join the Neighbourhood Watch and Online Watch Link (OWL) schemes. They provide a link between police and residents, so residents can be informed of local matters and provide crucial witness information for police.

The tips shared by Mr Hinks focused on CCTV, and how people can minimise their chances of being targeted.

Some of the tips listed below may seem obvious. But it does not hurt to be reminded, and by doing more than one of these things, you are likely to be decreasing your chances of becoming a burglary victim.

  • CCTV - ensure that it is a specialist who has come to fix the camera. Ensure it is an IP CCTV system. Mr Hinks said a 4 Megapixel camera is enough. Try and ensure cameras are around 2.5 to 3 metres above your door rather than at the top of the house - unless you do both
  • Make sure the door you have is Pas 24 - this is a minimum British standard regarding the security levels of external doors and windows and help reduce the chance of intruder breaking the door down
  • Put protective film on windows or buy laminated glass windows
  • Additional locks, London bars or Chubb Locks make windows and doors harder to break down
  • Locking doors and windows of your home
  • Consistent level of light helps
  • Dense foliage like bushes
  • Prickly bushes by windows
  • Having a house alarm
  • Replacing the bell box on a burglar alarm every so often to make it appear like the alarm is newer
  • Making sure sheds and outbuildings are properly locked - burglars can use your own tools to break into your home if you leave sheds open
  • Putting wheelie bins away - these can be used to jump over fences
  • Fencing of a minimum of 1.8 metres in height
  • Make sure you don't leave any ladders lying about
  • Put timers on lights and electrical items like a television if going away on holiday. Also ask if a neighbour can park in your drive
  • Video doorbells
  • Turning off keyless entry for cars
  • Ensuring keys are kept in a metal box or Faraday bag which helps prevent thieves cloning your key by gaining a signal and then driving your car away without needing the key
  • Keeping car keys upstairs
  • Putting neighbourhood watch scheme signs up around where you live
  • Report suspicious behaviour to police