Home burglary boom as the clocks go back

publication date: Oct 31, 2016
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Home burglary boom as the clocks go back


As the nights draw in and the sun sets earlier and earlier, householders throughout the country should consider increasing their security measures.

In 2015 the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) found that there were almost 800,000 instances of domestic burglary in the UK with the majority of perpetrators preying on vulnerable properties with poor levels of security.

New research of 2,000 adults looked at how security conscious we really are and the results are quite alarming. I was shocked to discovered that only around 10% of people feel their home and possessions are safe from the prospect of burglary.

Nearly a third of people were worried about items with sentimental value such as jewellery being stolen while one in five were more concerned about valuable electrical items like laptops and phones being taken.

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But, despite their fears, less than half of UK adults have a burglar alarm or security system installed at home and only a quarter of those automatically contact the police - although, even if they do, there is no guarantee the police will be in a position to respond.

However, lack of appropriate security measures is not the only problem. People can also be downright careless. A third of us have accidentally left windows wide open when nobody is home and 20% have forgotten to lock the doors when leaving the house.

And at this time of year, with winter approaching, most of the country is unprepared from a security point of view:

  • Fewer than 25% of people use a light timer

  • Only 18% own movement sensors

  • Just 9% have security cameras installed.

Furthermore, in this day and age, people are increasingly likely to be targeted due to their social media activity. Around 7% tag their location on Twitter and/or Instagram when they are on holiday… alerting burglars to the fact that there is nobody home.

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Advancements in modern technology mean you can now control devices in your home via your mobile phone or tablet. As long as you have wi-fi, you can monitor, view and control your home security, so take a look at your app store to see what’s available.

But even if you don’t feel ready for a high-tech solution to this age-old problem, there are simple steps that anyone can take, to reduce their chances of being a burglar’s next victim.

Police advice on burglary

  • Lock doors and windows whenever you leave the house, even you’re only in the garden. Double lock UPVC doors.

  • Hide keys and make sure they are away from the letterbox.

  • Install a visible burglar alarm.

  • Make sure you have good outside lighting.

  • Leave radio and lights in the house on a timer so it looks occupied.

For more advice, visit https://www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary/.


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