What is burglary?
Crimestoppers UK define burglary as “an unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry of a residence for the purpose of committing a criminal offence, usually theft. Victims of burglary not only lose items of value, some of which are personal or irreplaceable, but the emotional shock of having your property invaded can be deeply upsetting.” (Crimestoppers UK)
Intruders will look for a number of signs to detect that a home is unoccupied and some may take when the best opportunity should arise i.e. allowing post to build up whilst you are on holiday is a definite sign that your home is unoccupied.
When are you most likely to be vulnerable?
- When you are away from your home such as being on holiday or even at work.
- When you are at home but either you are busy/distracted or asleep. 56% of burglaries happen at night. (Tesco Compare)
- The Christmas period is usually a vulnerable time of year for any household, as an intruder will know there is a high probability that there are new and expensive presents located inside your home, especially if they can be seen from a window!
Not all burglaries are opportunistic some may be premeditated by an intruder…
What is ‘Distraction Burglary’?
According to Crimestoppers UK, “distraction burglary is a form of burglary where the offenders trick or dupe the occupant or distract them, allowing co-offenders to gain access and commit burglary. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to distraction burglary.” (Crimestoppers UK)
How can I best protect my home?
- Try storing bins and ladders away from the property as these might be used to access 1st floor windows.
- Never leave any valuables where they can be seen by a burglar i.e. in view of a window!
- Don’t discuss any holiday plans on any types of open forums i.e. Facebook or Twitter. Posting details of when you will be away from your property will let any of your followers know that your home is potentially vulnerable.
- Keep out any unwanted guests – it is always a good idea to have a spy hole or door chain fitted as additional security.
- It can be a good idea to leave a light on or on a timer, especially during the darker evenings and if you are spending a night or week away from your home! Leaving a television or radio on is also a good alternative to leaving the lights on. Security products such as a light with a timer can be purchased in most DIY stores and online.
- If you are going to be away for a long period of time ask the Royal Mail to hold your mail with their ‘Keepsafe®’ service – they will do this for up to 2 months. It is recommended to ask the Royal Mail to hold your letters as this avoids a pile up of post inside the front door which could be an invitation for an intruder as they will be able to see you’re away.
- Store all sets of keys away from the front door! Whatever time of year it is, it’s always a good idea to have a key hook fitted internally away from the front door. Having a key safe fitted externally to your property may be a preferred option.
- A letterbox cage/guard is recommended as intruders may use the letterbox to retrieve keys stored inside the house; this type of theft is referred to as ‘Key Fishing’.
- Lights with sensors in the garden and front of your property will help to deter an intruder as they tend to be more confident when working in the dark.
- Use a UV pen to mark any valuables, so if the worse was to happen it may help to make recovery easier.
- Check the locks on any gates or sheds and upgrade/replace if necessary. Make sure anything that can be used by an intruder to gain entry to your property, i.e. garden tools, are safely locked away.
- When leaving the property always remember to lock any doors and windows. The majority of intruders will use an unlocked door or window to gain entry to a house.
More security advice and tips can be found on our dedicated page keytek.co.uk/security-tips/
Are you aware of the crime levels in your local area?
Visit the ‘How Safe is Your Neighbourhood’ widget to see what levels of crime have occurred in your local area keytek.co.uk/crime-stats/national/.
Simply visit the URL, input your Postcode or Town into the dedicated field and click ‘Find’, which will then take you to a map hosted by Police.UK (www.police.uk) that highlightsspecific areas where various levels of crime have taken place, from anti-socialbehaviour through to burglary.