February 29, 2024

Are you being watched?

This time our blog looks at burglary and steps you can take to keep your homes and businesses safe.

We would all like to feel safe in our own home and the thought of someone coming into our house uninvited and taking our possessions makes us feel unsettled. Today we have a look at some statistics and offer some tips to help keep your family, home and possessions safe.

Although the number of burglaries has reduced by 31% over the last 10 years there was still 275,919 burglaries in England and Wales between April 2022 to March 2023 (Stastista). Of that number 191,490 were on residential properties which on average work out as 524 houses a day. 97% of burglaries are perpetrated by someone you do not know.

Of those 524 houses, 53% are burgled between the hours of 6pm to 6am with the perpetrators using the cover of darkness and the quieter times to attempt to cover their crimes.

Burglary often leaves its victims not just with a financial upset, but, with more importantly the lasting psychological effects such as; anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and with a feeling they have been violated. Add to that the upset the psychological affect it has on the children in the house. We all need to do what we can to make our homes safe.

There are a few small things you can do the help protect your home and your possessions varying from free to costing a few hundreds.

The easiest free thing to do is hiding your valuables both inside and outside of your property. It may seem like a very basic thing, but you would be surprised how many people will leave valuable items ‘on show’ making it too tempting for some opportunist criminals. Also, ensure that valuables such as pushbikes, quadbikes and ride on mowers are locked away in sheds or garages etc as insurance companies may not cover them if they were not secured at the time of theft.

It is beneficial to install lights on timers, some can be programmed to have different timings on different days, and you can even get smart curtain closer/openers on timers to give your house the ‘lived in’ look from the outside.

If possible, ask a neighbour to bring your bins in and out to avoid leaving them out for long periods of time, making it look like you are not home.

It is also recommended to be careful about what you post online on social media platforms, particularly that you’re away on holiday. In a few clicks criminals could find your home location from your accounts and take advantage of your empty home.

With the rise of keyless entry thefts on high end vehicles it is recommended to store your keys in a faraday bag. This will block the electromagnetic field and prevent the vehicle starting. Steering locks or parking in a locked garage are also an effective way to prevent the theft of vehicles. Other options include password protected immobilisers and trackers fitted to the vehicles.

CCTV is always considered a good deterrent and can vary from just a simple static camera recording onto a memory card to models that can track and record and others that can actively alert when intruders enter a specific space with lights and sirens.

Bollards offer an excellent deterrent to protect valuable vehicles. Telescopic bollards are unlocked and lowered into the ground and are not easily tampered with, but there are cheaper options such as fold down bollards, which uses a padlock to unlock.

It is highly recommended to install an alarm system. These can start with simple door and motion detectors that sound and alarm or there are options to have monitored alarm systems that contact you and/or emergencies services in the event of a break in.

Generally speaking we would encourage all of our customers to consider physical security as a first step. Make sure doors have good strong locks on them, put keys and valuables out of site, security lighting, if necessary block high value vehicles in with another vehicle. Not everything has to cost a lot of money, even steering locks that also lock the gear lever are making a comeback. Once you’ve covered the basics we can then look at alarms, CCTV and other deterrent methods.

There will always be certain groups of people who feel it is okay to take other’s belongings but by applying a couple or maybe all of the above steps we can protect ourselves and our homes from falling victim to such groups.

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to give us a call or email and one of the team would be happy to help.

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