The dark evenings can provide perfect cover for a sneak-in burglar who spots an open window in an unoccupied room; sees your valuables through open curtains or blinds; or tries their luck with an unlocked door.
The noise and distraction of bonfire celebrations also present an ideal opportunity for thieves to break into homes and each year officers to remind people to ‘lock up, lights on’ before heading out - even if they are only holding a display in their own rear garden.
We launched this year's Darker Nights burglary prevention campaign in partnership with local residents from across the force, beaming a huge luminous target onto a dark house in their street to demonstrate how easy it is for an opportunist burglar to spot an unoccupied property on a dark winter evening. Click here to see what happened in your area.
Chief Inspector Adrian Atherley, force lead for burglary, said: "When the clocks go back and with many people returning from work after dark, we urge our communities to keep home security in mind at all times.
"House burglary is down by 16 per cent or 2,989 safer homes - in the West Midlands compared to the same period last year*, but we mustn't be complacent.
"Traditionally, the onset of darker nights sees a rise in reports of burglary and while we work hard to put burglars behind bars, it is vital that householders also take simple steps to protect their home.
"An inexpensive timer switch for your lights for example, is an extremely effective burglary deterrent as it appears you're at home even when you're not."
Visit the Safer Homes site for lots more useful advice for keeping your home safe all year round.
*Home Office figures dated 18/10/12 for the period July 2011 to June 2012 compared to the same 12-month period the previous year.
Watch our video on how to protect your home in 90 seconds - quick fire top ten tips to keep your house secure and to deter potential burglars.
Each year during October and November, we experience a large amount of calls from members of the public who have been affected by anti-social behaviour.
Issues often relate to firework misuse and trick or treating pranks, which can cause criminal damage or distress.
Young people often do not realise that what they may consider harmless fun, can have a negative impact on others.
Although we acknowledge it is a small number of young people who do participate in anti-social behaviour. We hope by raising awareness and highlighting the implications of negative behaviour, we can impact on the level of anti-social behaviour this season.
Many residents - particularly the elderly and infirm – can feel intimidated and threatened by young people knocking on their door in the evening or playing tricks on them when it is dark and they are home alone.
Young people could also be putting themselves at risk by knocking on strangers’ doors if unaccompanied by a parent, guardian or trusted adult.
Click on the image to download and print a copy of the luminous ‘No trick or treat’ card for your window this Halloween if you don’t want trick or treaters to knock your door.