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Burglars reveal their tactics ahead of a predicted winter rise in break-ins

Property Reporter
|
29th September 2021
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There was no furlough scheme for burglars. And thankfully, as a result of more of us being in our homes over the last year, break-ins have seen a 30% decline in England and Wales - falling to their lowest levels in 20 years.

However, as we enter darker nights and many offices encourage staff to return, it is predicted that burglaries will surge by 20%.

Speaking to ex-burglars and unfortunate victims of theft, security retailers, safe.co.uk, has uncovered what draws a burglar to someone’s home, allowing Safe to use these experiences to provide expert advice on how to protect a home and feel safe this autumn and winter:

Repeat Business – Ex-burglar provides insight: “Burglars come back to the same houses quite often. They do this because of a number of motives. It's guaranteed that the people they robbed replaced the stuff they stole the first time, and often these replacements are of better quality than the original”.

Anthony Neary, managing director for safe.co.uk, further explains: “As they’ve had time to assess the whole property, they know the layout of the house and can be clinical in their approach. Ensure that if you have been burgled, extra security measures such as CCTV, alarms and locks are in place to prevent it happening again.”

Packing – A victim explained: “They saw my parents loading the car to go skiing, when we got back, they’d taken everything.”

Experts at Safe.co.uk adds: “When taking a trip or going on a winter break, swiftly take the luggage to the car or taxi. The longer you take to pack up a car, the more chance a burglar has of seeing that the homeowner is leaving the property, giving them optimum time to plan their theft, and potentially tell other people too.”

Family Pet – Burglary witness said: “Everyone’s house in the area has been burgled, except ours. The difference is, we have a Dachshund and a “Beware of the Dog” sign on the fence.”

Safe.co.uk adds: “Having a dog is useful for two reasons. Firstly, burglars may be inclined to miss a property if they see a “Beware Of The Dog” sign as a big dog threatens their safety and adds a huge risk of being caught. Secondly, a barking dog alerts the owners that someone is approaching the property, they detect noise quicker than humans, which gives a clear advantage.”

Exterior Lights – An ex-burglar admits: “I’d always skip the house with big outdoor security lights.”

Anthony at Safe.co.uk recommends: “Turning on all exterior lights at night where possible. A house in the dark could appeal to a burglar as it looks like nobody is in the property, and there could be an assumption that the owner is asleep or not at home. Any dark or shadowed areas are ideal for a burglar to try to approach the house undetected, making security lights essential in the new season.”

Help from a Neighbour – Ex-burglar suggests: “Don’t leave out deliveries or bins, burglars casing your estate will see that and know you’re not home.”

Safe.co.uk say: “Burglars can tell if a family has gone on holiday. From full letterboxes to forgotten milk deliveries and left out wheely bins, the signs show that the property is vacant. If you are going away for an extended period of time, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to maintain any elements that could be an advertisement for burglars.”

Anthony Neary, managing director for safe.co.uk, concludes: “Although we’re seeing a decline in burglaries, the winter period is predicted to spike in theft, we want to ensure people feel safe and secure. Taking information straight from the horse’s mouth is a great way of getting a real understanding into what they look for in a property, and we hope homeowners will try our tips moving forward.”

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