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Police have reassured residents in Barking after mysterious red dots appeared on houses across the Borough.

During the past few days, officers at Longbridge and Abbey Wards had been made aware of red dots and markings being made on the front doors and windows of local resident's homes.

This has caused some anxiety within the community as residents consider that they may have been targeted for crime.

A spokesperson for Barking & Dagenham Police moved quickly to quell rumours saying: "Police would like to assure residents that there is no similarity between the householders of the properties that have been marked. Rumours are currently spreading that all of the homes marked are occupied by the elderly or by Asian people. This is not the case. Hundreds of homes have been marked with residents being of all ages and cultures.

"While always encouraging the public to be vigilant with their security routine, Police would like to reassure local residents that there is no evidence to suggest that there is a sinister motive behind these markings.

"There is a possibility that a sales company have marked properties that they wish to canvas, but in the absence of any evidence to that effect Police urge residents to continue to be vigilant with home security, and remember, UPVC doors should be locked with the key and then the key removed to a safe place where it cannot be seen from outside, but can be found easily in an emergency."

Anyone with information concerning the cause of, or reason for these markings should call their Safer Neighbourhoods Team. Longbridge SNT can be contact on 020 8721 2573 and Abbey SNT can be contacted on 020 8721 2786.