DOZENS of police officers have been deployed across south Essex in a campaign to crack down on burglaries.

Codenamed Operation Meteor, teams of officers have been out and about in Canvey, Basildon, and Billericay to help reduce the crime.

This comes after Essex Police reported how their extra efforts over the summer resulted in a recorded 26 per cent decrease in burglary across the county.

Operation Meteor encourages people to mark their valuables to make them less attractive to thieves and introduces policing tactics which have not been used across Essex on this scale before.

Residents can protect their property by marking it with both hidden and visible markings. Hidden marking can be anything from UV pens to logging and photographing items you own.

Visible marking can be anything from engraving an item to using a permanent pen to label goods with a postcode.

Residents and business owners can also purchase intruder sprays. These sprays cover intruders with a forensically detectable liquid which shows up on suspects when they are arrested.

As part of Operation Meteor, secondhand shops are working in partnership with the police to make property ‘too hot to handle’.

Every item taken to secondhand shops will be checked for each type of property marking.

Ewen Wilson, Chief Supt at Essex Police, said: “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 and hopefully prevent many people from having to go through the heartbreak of having their home broken into and valuables stolen.

“There is a clear message to criminals: the chance of getting caught for burglary in Essex has just gone through the roof!”

To find out more about property marking, visit