New crime figures reveal burglaries are up a massive 32% – and there’s only one way you'll get your stuff back
The latest crime figures reveal a truly horrific rise in the amount of offences taking place.
Robbery, up 29% last year. Stalking up 36%. Rape 28%. And knife crime, up 21%.
And for home owners, there’s even more bad news – domestic burglaries were up by a staggering 32%.
There’ll be a lot of experts explaining the reason for the overall 14% rise in crime, and others saying these figures – which are based on the actual crimes reported to the police – are less accurate than others.
But the real reason for the huge rise in burglaries is obvious for anyone to see.
Burglars know there is little to no chance they'll be caught!
That means there is now really only one way to protect yourself from loss and get stolen stuff back, and that’s to get a good home insurance policy.
This is quite simply the only way you’ll be able to replace a loss.
Nine out of ten burglary investigations end without a suspect even being identified, according to figures from the Home Office.
To be exact: Of the 44,363 residential burglaries recorded by police across England and Wales between April and June last year, 89.7% of cases were closed without a suspect being identified.
And that’s if the burglary is investigated at all!
In Leicestershire last year police trialled a three-month scheme in which they only investigated burglaries at even-numbered homes.
At least five other police forces are now considering adopting the money-saving experiment.
So, the message is clear – you’re on your own!
Here are 10 top tips from experts on the best way to defend your house from the army of burglars out there
1 Focus first on the perimeter – experts always tell us to do this before anything else.
If you have a garden or outside space, look where you would enter your property if you were a burglar. Where is in shadow, where is hidden, where is easy to climb over quickly. Get rid of the shadow with security lights and make fences difficult to climb by adding trellis. Anything to make the burglar think twice.
Remember, the vast majority of burglars are opportunists – they want to get in and out fast with the least chance of getting trapped or there being a problem. If they don’t like the look of your place, they’re much more likely to move on.
2 Get locks updated – and make sure they’re on show, especially on the front door. Make sure that front door is strong and secure – could it withstand a few good kicks? If not, consider replacing it with something more solid.
Make sure your high-quality locks can be seen.
3 Lock your windows – after the doors, the next favourite means of entry is through a window. Smashing one is a possibility but it’s far from the preferred option for burglars because it’s noisy and unpredictable, especially as a shard of glass can easily cause a serious injury.
Window locks help to deter.
4) Keep your property smart – a house with a smart and well-maintained look will definitely deter most intruders. If it looks well-attended on the outside, your security arrangements are more than likely to be the same.
5) Secure your shed – you might think you have little of value in your garden shed. But, to a would-be burglar it’s like an intruder’s DIY store, and they will certainly grab whatever they can to help them gain entry to the home. Lock it and make sure it is sound.
6) Consider a burglar alarm and CCTV – many of us have grown used to the idea that burglar alarms don’t do much to protect the home as they are usually ignored. That’s true, but burglars still hate them because there’s a chance a neighbour will call the police or investigate themselves.
Just like locks on doors and windows, though, a burglar alarm needs to be visible and turned on to be effective. Many people have them but don't use them – burglars know this, so make sure you do turn it on.
And use an app on your mobile to control the alarm system and monitor if it has gone off. Most apps with alert you as soon as the alarm is triggered.
If you can afford it, an even better deterrent is CCTV. Burglars hate these, even more than alarms.
7) Don’t advertise you're away – Of course, burglars love unoccupied homes. So, do everything you can to make yours look it’s occupied when you’re away. Cancel newspapers, milk and any other deliveries. Arrange for someone to come in and clear post that may otherwise overflow from the letter box, and put timers on lights so they come on in the evenings.
8) Lighting – Get good exterior security lights that are motion sensitive. Make sure they are bright enough to really throw out a strong light to deter would-be burglars. The last thing they want is to be spotted at work.
9) Don’t display your goods – Most burglars are only really interested in what they can easily carry out of the home, which means money, money, jewellery and car keys. So, don’t make it easy for them by leaving these items on display either inside your home or from the outside.
10) Get a dog! – Getting a dog only for deterring burglars is probably not a great idea. But there is little doubt that a barking dog is terrific for putting off opportunist burglars. Especially if that dog sounds like it's big and means business.
One of the first things many burglars will do is knock on your door. If you answer, they'll make up some excuse like looking for an address. If there's no answer, they'll guess the coast is clear. But if they hear the loud barking of what sounds like a dog ready to protect its territory, there's a very good chance they'll be on their toes out of there. Don't have a dog? Perhaps consider a recording?
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