Neighbours living in a street which has been targeted by burglars five times in six months are calling for more police to patrol the streets of Finchley.

Holdenhurst Avenue has been a hotspot for burglars since December last year, making residents feel “very unsafe” in their own homes.

John McAteer’s house was broken into over Christmas while he was away with his family.

He said: “They managed to break in and took things like iPads and Wii controllers.  It makes me feel uneasy that it could happen again so we’ve taken steps like getting a burglar alarm. My daughter’s still quite freaked out about it, as anyone would be.”

Frank Millard, who has lived in the street since 1996, said: “This is the first time I’ve heard of burglaries happening in the street since I moved here.

“It makes me feel very unsafe even though we have a burglar alarm. When you go to work and come home you’re worried what you’re going to find.

“The police say to tell them when you see something suspicious but when I saw two people in hoodies the police said they didn’t have time to come down.”

Another resident, Oruj Defoite, thinks Barnet Police should be doing more to prevent burglary, particularly in areas where it is common.

She said: “The police aren’t visible and that sends out a signal to people that there isn’t enough security in the streets and they can get away with it.

“The police say they’re treating burglary as a priority but I don’t see that happening. I haven’t seen a PSCO or a police officer in the street – only when they’re telling us a burglary has already happened.

“I really want better security. I think the police need to be more proactive and I think the onus can’t be on residents to take complete control. It’s our responsibility to make sure our doors are shut but ultimately it’s their job to police our streets and protect us.”

But Detective Chief Inspector Garry Randell said Barnet Police is introducing schemes to help prevent burglaries in the borough.

Speaking to the Times Series he said: “We’ve been chosen as a pilot borough to trial predictive analysis, which means we can direct our resources to those places we think we need to help prevent crime.

“The local policing model is also helping to reorganise our resources. Safer neighbourhood teams will have a major investment so we can have more police on the street.

“We’d ask residents to call us if they see anything suspicious - clearly there are times when we can’t – but we will get there if we can.”

Police also carry out a scheme called “cocooning” which involves officers giving crime prevention advice to victims of a burglary as well as their neighbours.

DCI Randell added: “The aim is to reduce the amount of victims we have by improving their home security, such as fitting an alarm.”