Crime Stats Show Increase In Domestic Burglaries

Research shows many of us still don’t lock our front doors

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Home Office statistics released today highlight that domestic burglaries are up 14%. Experts say that this could increase throughout the summer months as the weather starts to warm up and people venture into their gardens or leave their windows open.

New research from Ageas Insurance shows that just under one in two adults (47%) don’t lock their front door as a rule when they are at home. And that’s when sneak-in crimes can happen. More than one in ten (13%) only ever lock their front door at bedtime.

Nearly one in five people (18%) said that as much as £2,000 or more worth of valuables could be seen by a passer-by looking through a window. One in three people (35%) said that valuables worth more than £1000 could be seen.

Mark Cliff, Managing Director of Ageas Insurance said: "It’s often wrongly assumed that many household burglaries are committed while homes are empty. But canny burglars know that many people assume that by being at home, they themselves are a deterrent and so they take fewer precautions. But an unlocked front door or window can be an open invitation to a burglar while the occupier is distracted by spending time in the garden. With so few people routinely securing their home while they are there it’s no wonder that so many thefts are committed without a forced entry. It’s not about turning your home into a fortress but simply getting into the habit of locking doors and windows, regardless of the period of time the house or room is unattended."

Roy Rudham, Chairman of Neighbourhood Watch Trust, said: "People should treat their homes like they treat their cars – don’t leave valuables on show, lock the doors and make sure you are insured. If you were to lock your home how easy would it be for you to get in? If you can easily gain entry, then a burglar will be in a lot faster than you.’"

Ageas has teamed up with The Neighbourhood Watch Trust to provide top tips to reducing the likelihood of becoming a target for burglars, downloadable at here

April 21, 2011