Unfortunately, home is also a target for those we least expect or want to intrude upon our archipelago of personal possessions and peaceful night’s sleep. According to the Office of National Statistics, homes and apartments are a burglary bonanza. ONS data revealed over 195,000 burglaries per year—that’s over 23 break-ins every hour.
Thieves walk off with an average of £2,300 from each UK burglary.
Just this loss in possessions and sense of security justifies second checks of locks and windows, but it may also cause a few sleepless nights.
Suddenly, home seems like a frighteningly vulnerable castle. There is no moat or palace guard. And just because you live on the sixth floor of a building that has a registered security guard it does not mean a watchful burglar is not on patrol.
Police find the following characteristics to be a lure for thieves:
• A number of vacant units
• Easy access (is that fitness centre or swimming pool entrance really locked?)
• Plenty of cover—not just plants or trees but a lot of people passing through
• Readily available escape routes, including fire escape doors and underground parking garages as well as open fields
Then add the time of day and the calendar. 65% of all burglaries occur while occupants are at work, and apartment break-ins spike during July and August when most people go on holiday. (The slump season for theft is in February. Apparently, even thieves don’t like the cold.)
Will Your Home Be Broken Into?
• 195,286 burglaries happen each year in the U.K.
• 22.3 Burglaries happen each hour
• 70% of U.K. homes have no security system at all
• Households where primary occupants aged between 16 and 54 were 3 times more likely to be victims of burglary than those aged over 55
• A home without a security system is 300% more likely to be broken into!
What Could Happen in the Event of a Burglary?
• U.K. burglaries cost an average of £2,300
• 58.3% of burglaries occur through forcible entry
• 35.2% of burglaries are through unlawful entry or no force needed like an unlocked door!
• 85% of break-ins are from “non-professional” criminal, crimes of opportunity by someone looking for quick cash
• In 28% of burglaries, someone is home and in 7% of all household burglaries, a household member experienced some form of violence.
Will You Recover Your Valuables?
• Only 10% of reported burglaries resulted in an arrest!
• Only 21% of property is ever recovered!
Avoid Becoming A Victim?
Let’s start with the simple and then move to smart technologies.
Lock your door and latch your windows
Crime reports indicate that 35% of all burglaries are accomplished via unlawful entry (the door was not locked or a window was open), or no force was required (a cleaner was out getting supplies or workmen left a set of master keys lying on an unattended cart). This simple solution is particularly true of apartments that supposedly have secure parking garages. Lulled into a false sense of security by that sliding metal fence, more than a few apartment dwellers neglect locking their door. Keep in mind that thieves watch for a car to drive in and then dash in before the steel curtain closes.
Lock sliding glass doors
and then place a physical block in the channel that they travel before departing your home
for the day. An old broom handle will usually do the trick. Make sure there is no more than an inch of travel space once the block is in place. A clever thief knows how to lift out a sliding door or window if there is more than an inch of travel room.
Invest in technology
Law enforcement agencies report that a home or an apartment without a security system is 300% more likely to be broken into. That’s right, 300%. There’s a reason that people put home security alarm system signs at the front of their property—even an indication that such a device is in place will cause a thief to shop elsewhere.
Even the best security systems rarely include a camera. The alarm will go off, and the police will be summoned, but they probably won’t arrive until after the perpetrator flees with your property. It’s reported that only 10% of reported burglaries resulted in arrest, and only 21% of purloined property is recovered.