With over 380,000 burglaries recorded annually in England and Wales alone, a new Study produced by home security retailer safe.co.uk, takes a forensic look at how secure the nation’s homes are.
Each property, its location and even price was assessed independently using criteria ranging from the levels of CCTV kit and types of window locks installed, through to the time, at which the owners occupy their home each day.
On a national level, the report exposes that millions of homeowners have inadequate levels of security to beat the burglar, with a staggering 68% of respondents not protecting their home with a standard burglar alarm. Only one in five of us invest in CCTV and despite the increased sophistication and methods used by burglars - a mere 13% beef-up their defences with smart security devices and cameras.
The most paw patrols happen in Bristol with 40% of homeowners owning a guard dog, compared to just 16% in Norwich who don’t rely on a canine companion to deter criminals.
Properties in Cardiff were exposed to be the most vulnerable to burglary in the study. Properties in the Welsh capital were scored down for factors such as only 4% deploying smart security, 11% using CCTV and 29% of owners only being at home at night when most burglaries happen in the daytime. Manchester also featured in the bottom three cities, despite its M20 (Didsbury, Withington) and M21 (Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Firswood) postcodes amongst the highest burgled areas in the country.***
Glaswegians can breathe a sigh of relief with their homes assessed to be the most secure in the UK. An impressive 22% of homeowners own over seven internal and external security cameras, a quarter live in more secure mid-terrace properties and 27% fit their front door with a multi-point locking system - key factors analysed that contributed to the Scottish city’s high ranking.
The study analysed all security criteria in relation to average house prices. Homeowners living in the lowest value properties - costing between £0-£100,000 - invest the most in home security kit to protect their pad. Over half (51%) of residents living in a property costing under £50,000 own a burglar alarm, whilst 34% invest in state-of-the-art CCTV security – 14% above the national average. In contrast, those living in properties valued between £450,000 - £500,000 have the most ineffective security measures and ranked bottom.
In light of an increase in burglaries motivated by a desire to steal a vehicle, a worrying one in five respondents still leave their car keys on display in a porch or hallway by the front door. A surprising 14% even hang them on a keyring in the front door lock at night.
Anthony Neary, managing director for safe.co.uk, commented:
“It’s clear from our study that millions of homes across the UK are not adequately protected from burglary. Although investing in the latest security devices can deter criminals, there are also plenty of common-sense measures that can be adopted to make a property less vulnerable.
“We often find that those people who get into the mindset of a burglar or take the time to review weak spots in their home find the right levels of protection. I hope our findings act as a wake-up call for homeowners in cities such as Cardiff and Manchester.”