I just wanted to let everyone know to look out for two white men in their 20s one with brown hair and the other shaved head, wearing floresent jackets and carrying each a torch and long metal rod.
I left my house 30 minutes ago (1am) and as i opened the door saw a man shinning a bright torch at the front door oposite to my house, he stopped shinning the torch when he saw me and started speaking to the other guy and acting out as if they were measuring something with the pavement using the metal poles they were carrying. When they saw us locking up the house, they stopped and stared until we had finished and then followed us until we got to our car, where they then walked past and swiftly dissapeared around the corner. Suspicious of what had happened we drove round the corner to Chesterfield Grove/Melbourne Grove where they were on separate sides of the road, one seemed to be hiding and the other looking into someone elses house with the torch. We then called the police to report what we had seen and waited around, however no one came.
We may have been mistaken but still think it worth letting people know what they may need to look out for as there have been many robberies in the area
Sounds very dodgy. Well done you for calling the police; if they didn't come then shame on them. We are always encouraged to report such issues however if they are not acted upon then what is the point..
You may well be right that they are suspicious people - however Thames Water is currently 'listening' for leaks - they use a rod to do this, placing it on the road-side stop-cock and listening for water flowing. They do this 'out of hours' so they don't pick-up the normal flow of household use. At that time of night a torch allows them to see into the channel where the stop-cock is. They may also be checking house-numbers (with a torch) where they suspect a leak is. They come back during the day to check again, this time with the householder making sure taps aren't running etc.
So it is just possible that what you saw was 'kosher', although their subsequent behaviour does seem odd. Maybe they were pretending to be leak-checkers. Thames Water could probably confirm if they had people out in that area last night.
See if you have The Mark of Doom outside your house: if you have blue spray paint circled around the metal cover on the pavement outside your house - with an arrow pointing towards your door - you're screwed.
They work at 1:30 so that they can hear leaks more easily - normally at that time flowing water sounds are not going to be associated with 'normal' water usage (i.e. washing etc.). Additionally, since the water flowing sounds are quite difficult to hear over e.g. traffic noise they chose a time when the environment is quieter.
The rods are like giant ear trumpets: they open up the metal cover where the stop cock is, put the rod on the pipes leading to and from and listen for leaks. They do it at night because (obviously) there's less background noise so they can hear the hissing.
If the hissing is coming from the 'road side' of the stopcock, it's their problem. If it's coming from the side of the stopcock leading to your gaff, it's yours - and a delightful letter will arrive from them in the morning, leading - sure as eggs - to a bill for (potentially) several hundred pounds (and that letter offering you water supply pipe insurance for £20/year you binned a few weeks ago starts to look mighty attractive).
As Penguin says though - TW should know if they've got blokes in the area.
Thanks for your comments it has helped to put my mind at rest that they could of been checking for water leaks i would of not heistated if it werent for them walking to the next road as quickly as possible and then dissappearing
saw something very much like this on wood vale I called the police but the guys went before the police got there, there where 3 of them and sound how you described, they had long bolt cutters with them and where investigating peoples front gardens and where checking out a bicyle as well, something may have spooked them or they where aware of me watching them and they all jumped in some kind of large car people carrier kind of size and shot off, this would have been a couple of months back now