How Does a Burglar Choose a House

With over 422,000 burglars in England and Wales in 2018 to 2019, it is no surprise that people are worried about their home security. But what makes someone’s home a target? 

There are many things that could possibly be making your home a target and cause a burglar to pick your home, so when evaluating your home security try and get into the mindset of a burglar to pick out any weak points in your home. To help you better secure your home we have created our guide to what might be making your home a target.

 

  • You Have Left your House Unsecured

Open windows and doors are easy access for a burglar and make it all too easy for them to grab and go without attracting attention. In a survey conducted by Somfy, it was found that on average 1 in 4 adults never lock their front door when they leave their home, despite 1 in 5 of the same adults experiencing a burglary!

You should always lock your doors and windows when you leave the house to ensure that it is less of an easy target to burglars. It is also strongly recommended that you lock your doors and windows when you are at home as to avoid someone trying to break in when you are home.

 

  • Dark and Covered Areas Outside your Home

Burglars will pick a target based on the belief they will have the lowest chance of getting caught, especially those that are opportunistic. One way they can scope out a property and remain unseen by others is in dark covered areas that surround your home. This might be a dimly lit back garden or unkempt and overgrown bushes and trees for which they can hide in. 

We strongly suggest that you install garden lights, preferably motion activated, to illuminate the dark areas around your home in the evening in order to deter anyone who might be creeping around. We also suggest that you keep your garden well groomed as to not provide any hiding areas for intruders.

 

  • Opportunistic Burglars Will Look Out for Anything of Value

Some burglaries are planned, whereas others are opportunity based. Should a person with ill intentions be walking past and see many valuables through your window it can prompt them to commit a burglary. A study by Safewise UK found that 47% of burglaries are spur of the moment and not planned beforehand, even though all burglars want to be in and out as fast as possible and if they can see what they would snatch from the window, it can look like easy picking to them. 

We suggest not leaving items of value in open spaces that are viable from a door or window and rather put them away in a secured part of your home. A good trick as well is to pull the blinds or the curtains closed as to limit visibility to anyone that should try to look in. 

 

  • It’s Obvious You are on Holiday

An empty house is very appealing to a burglar, it means they have a lower chance of getting caught or interrupted. Full postboxes, unkempt/dying plants and no lights in the house turning on are dead giveaways that you are not at home and have not been for a while.

We suggest asking a close friend or relative to check in on your home every couple of days to tidy up any post and water the plants, we also suggest that you invest in some light timers that can turn lights on and off automatically giving the impression that someone is home. Be cautious however as sometimes timed lights can be obvious to anyone staking your house, so it would be wise to get a few as to turn on and off different lights at different times. 

 

  • Issues Can Be Spotted in your Security

This might be broken lights, rusty alarm boxes or broken fences around your home that give the impression that your home is not well protected and is not well maintained. Alongside taking pride in the appearance of your home, a well kept and maintained home makes you a less appealing target to burglars as they can perceive your home to be higher risk and therefore not worth it. 

 

  • You Have Been a Previous Target and Haven’t Changed your Security

If you have been unfortunate to experience a burglary there is a chance that a burglar could come back. Burglar victims have more than a 1 in 4 chance that they will be burgled again, perhaps due to the confidence that the last burglary gave the burglar. If they were successful last time it would make sense they would believe they would be successful again, they know the layout, what’s in the house and how they can escape. 

A study by Home Secure found that 92% of people did not upgrade their alarm system after they had been successfully burgled, which leaves them open to a further attack. Although we suggest having a security system in place before anything happens, we cannot stress the importance of upgrading your security within your home after a break in. This will help to decrease the risk of future burglaries and help to protect your home. 

 

  • Your Garden is Easily Accessed

The garden is normally a preferred spot for burglars as they can enter the house unseen and it is less risky. If you have weak garden security it could provide easy access to burglars to scope out your house and gain entry. 

We recommend installing high fences and secure gate locks to secure your garden. Find out more about how you can secure your garden through our Ultimate Security Guide (Link).

 

  • You Have No Security at All

Unfortunately having more than just locks on your doors are needed for security. A report found that 77% of people with just a basic security system are not burgled, and reports from former burglars have said they would seriously re-consider targeting a house with a security system in place. Not only does it make your home a high risk target, but provides peace of mind to you to know that your home is more secure. 

We recommend having high security locks fitted to your doors and windows and investing in some form of smart home security product, whether that be cameras, alarms or motion lighting every little helps. 

 

To find out more about British Standard Locks, click here.

To find out more about internal security cameras, click here.

To find out more about external security cameras, click here.

To find out more about securing your home, click here.

 

Burglary Statistics*

  • 422,000 burglaries were reported between 2018 and 2019 in England and Wales
  • There is a 15% decline in burglaries in 2018 and 2019 from the previous reporting year.
  • 47% of burglaries are ‘spur of the moment’.
  • Someone is home in an estimated 28% of burglaries. 
  • Only 14 arrests in 100 burglaries are made.

 

Repeat Burglaries

  • There is a 1 in 4 chance that a victim of burglary will be burgled again.
  • 1 in 6 burglary victims have been burgled three times or more.
  • 65% of people who have been burgled more than once experience it in the same house.

 

Security Statistics*

  • 1 in 4 people never lock their front door when they leave their home.
  • 4% of people never lock anything when they go out. 
  • 83% of people said they would call the police if they witnessed a neighbourhood burglary. 
  • 58% of people have adopted Smart Home products
    • 40% adopting outdoor lighting
    • 25% adopted smart cameras
    • 19% adopted smart alarms
    • 15% adopted smart locks
    • 53% of people who adopted smart product said they felt safer

 

Area Statistics*

London

  • 33% of people never lock their front door when they go out.
  • 48% of people don’t lock their back door.
  • The risk of being burgled in London is Double the UK national average.
  • Only 60% of people living in Greater London said they feel safe.
  • Only 63% of people living in the City of London said they feel safe. 

 

South

  • 83% of people lock their doors when they leave the house.
  • Only 1% of people said they would not take any action if they witnessed a break-in. 
  • 80% of people living in the South West said that they felt safe. 
  • 79% of people living in Bristol said that they felt safe.
  • 84% of people living in Plymouth said that they felt safe. 

 

North

  • 6% of people said they would not do anything if they witnessed a break-in. 
  • Only 58% of people who lived in Liverpool said that they feel safe.
  • Only 64% of people living in Manchester said that they feel safe. 
  • Overall 68% (2 in 3) living in the North East said that they felt safe.

 

Further Reading: 

What to do if Someone Breaks into Your Home

How to Restore Your Home Security After a Break In

*All statistics are from a small group representative of the population.

 

https://www.homesecureshop.co.uk/blogs/news/do-burglars-strike-twice#:~:text=Burglars%20thrive%20on%20opportunity%20and,to%20the%20same%20house%20twice.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/956906/burglaries-in-england-and-wales/#:~:text=Number%20of%20burglary%20offences%20in%20England%20and%20Wales%202002%2D2019&text=In%202018%2F19%20there%20were,with%20the%20previous%20reporting%20year.

https://www.safestyle-windows.co.uk/ask-an-expert/home-security/shocking-uk-facts-and-statistics-about-burglary/

https://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/household/empting-fate-one-in-four-admit-to-leaving-their-door-unlocked.html#:~:text=The%20research%20%E2%80%93%20carried%20out%20among,been%20burgled%20more%20than%20once.