Chalk marks used by criminals to indicate potential victims
Members of criminal gangs are chalking marks outside Empingham homes which are codes to each other to show potential targets.
Rutland police think that the marks left on roads and walls outside houses in a number of streets are secret messages between gang members.
Police are increasing their patrols in the area, alongside urging residents with chalk marks outside their home to contact the police, but not to worry too much.
The police say that they are aware that the markings are used by members of a crime gang to identify either vulnerable properties or those which are worth breaking into. The Empingham markings are a variety of symbols and lines, and have appeared on the main A606 Road, Church Street, Nook Lane and Willoughby Drive.
Patrols in the area have been increased, the local Neighbourhood Watch has been made aware aware and police are leafleting homes with advice to residents
Residents have been advised to keep both their doors and windows locked - and to report any chalk markings to the police on 0116 222 2222.
However, if anyone is spotted acting suspiciously in the village, or is seen drawing chalk marks, then the police should be contacted immediately on 999.