Announcing a London-wide crackdown on burglary, Paul Condon, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said it was the force's biggest priority after terrorism.
The initiative, known as Operation Bumblebee, is primarily a poster and advertising campaign. The Metropolitan Police said it contained three key points: people should use sensible crime prevention measures, such as door and window locks; they should always inform the police about anyone selling stolen property; and they should not buy property which they suspected might be stolen.
Assistant Commissioner William Taylor said police would seek more information from sources, adding: 'We will be increasing the payments to them in order to get their help.'
The pounds 500,000 initiative will be funded from existing budgets. More emphasis will be placed on detecting burglary - for instance, by targeting known burglars through surveillance.
Pilot schemes in north, north- east and south-west London have led to a reduction in reported burglaries of between 3 and 10 per cent.