Would-be burglars were scared off before they could break into a man's home on Monday.

The doorbell of a home in Old Church Road, Chingford, was rung repeatedly at about 11.30am, but by the time the homeowner reached the front door there was no-one there.

When he entered the living room he saw two men trying to break the lock on his back door with a spade, but the pair ran away towards an alleyway adjoining Ridgeway Park when they saw him through the window.

One man was described as between 18 and 20 years old, black and six foot tall with short hair. He was wearing a dark blue jacket, with denim jeans and dark gloves.

The other was also black and between 18 and 20 years old, five foot seven inches tall with black hair. He was wearing a black jacket and denim jeans.

Police said there has been a 13 per cent reduction in burglary in the 12 months until November 2012 - dropping from 3,427 to 2,973.

If anyone has any information about the incident please call the Met on 101.