22 July, 2017

5 Surprising Burglary Statistics And Safety Tips

In summer, when the weather is fine, it’s so easy to be more relaxed about ensuring windows and doors are locked.  Near us, people have been burgled when having a barbecue in their back garden because they left their front door open.  It only takes minutes for some crafty crooks to relieve you of your property.

This guest post, from SimpliSafe who produce wireless home security systems, is a great reminder that, come the warmer weather, we need to be more, not less vigilant.

Two front doors in pastel pink in adjoining houses on a terraced street

A burglary is committed every thirteen seconds according to SimpliSafe, but only 12% of those are pre-planned. According to the British Crime Survey, there are over 1 million burglaries and attempted burglaries each year. However, our technological era makes it easier than ever to outsmart today’s burglars. In order to keep yourself and your family safe, it’s important to take a closer look at the statistics, such as what motivates burglars and how they operate, along with how burglaries are classified in the first place.

Let’s begin by breaking down what constitutes a burglary. According to the Theft Act of 1968, burglary is defined as:

“Entering any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with the intent to steal anything in the building or part of the building in question and/or inflict or attempt to inflict bodily harm on anyone therein. As long as the person entering has no legal right to be present in the structure a burglary has occurred. Furthermore, the structure need not be the house itself for a burglary to take place; illegal entry of a garage, shed, or any other structure on the premises also constitutes household burglary.”

Burglary is also broken down into the following four subcategories:

Completed burglary – With or without force, a person without legal right to be present enters a residence.

Forcible entry – Some kind of force, like breaking a window, is used to gain entry to a residence.

Unlawful entry without force – The burglar doesn’t use force to gain entry.

Attempted forcible entry – The burglar attempts to gain entry with force.

Now that we understand what burglary is and its types, let’s take a look at the data, along with what that data suggests are the best preventative safety solutions.

1. Half of Domestic Burglars Know the Victim Personally

Half of domestic burglars are strangers, but the other half are known by the victim. Those familiar to the victim use their knowledge of the home and its surroundings to break in when it is vulnerable, such as when the homeowner is away.

Safety Tip: Share your spare keys and home codes only with those that have earned your trust. Aim to avoid sharing information about you being away from your home on social media. Those following your social media accounts may just be waiting to find out when you’ll be away from your home.

2. 60% of Convicted Burglars Were Deterred By Security Systems

Whether you’re on vacation or not, peace of mind is priceless, and is something security systems designed for today’s threats can provide. Home security is anything but an antiquated protection measure; according to Police.uk, households with simple security measures are five times less likely to be broken into than those without.

Safety Tip: Invest in a technologically-advanced system with comprehensive features that go beyond burglary detection and that include multiple sensors such as motion detection.

3. 72% of Burglars Use Open Windows or Doors, or Force Them Open

Summertime also means that many households are leaving windows open for fresh air flow. that Vulnerable windows and doors are the preferred entry methods. In fact, 15% of burglars get into the household by simply walking through an unlocked door.

Safety Tip: Be mindful of keeping doors and windows shut, locked, and alarmed when you’re away. It’s also a good idea to do some summer landscaping to keep shrubs and trees short, making it difficult for intruders to hide out on your property.

4. Only About Half of Victims Had Their Stolen Property Insured

The property stolen the most are mobile phones (43%), wallets (38%), and cash (37%). And roughly 65% of burglars who stole these items worked to get rid of them immediately.

Safety Tip: On top of making sure burglary is covered in your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance plan (you can often score a discount when you prove you have professional monitoring in place), it’s also not a bad idea to look into modern-day options for safes, such as ones that look like other household objects. You should also make sure to turn GPS tracking on your phones and computers to help recover items if they do happen to get stolen.

5. The Number of Domestic Burglaries is Continually Dropping

When compared with 2005 data, the number of burglaries in 2015 has decreased by 35%. This continual decrease is arguably thanks in part to advancing technology that both residents and law enforcement are able to take advantage of; homes are getting smarter, and that includes the modern security systems that people have to choose from.

We’re getting better at fighting and preventing this desperate crime, but it’s because of the minor investments worth making toward your peace of mind, which is priceless.

*PR collaboration

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