A survey of property owners in the UK has revealed the nation’s home security habits.
The research, commissioned by security experts SafeSite Security Solutions, shows that:
• Homeowners in the Midlands are most likely to have security lighting installed and use a spy hole or safety chain on their front door. Residents in the Midlands are also most likely to recognise that they live in a Neighbourhood Watch area, suggesting home security is a concern for residents in this area. Police force data from West Midlands Police, published on UK Crime Stats, supports this showing a steady increase in burglary in the 6 months from August 2019 to January 2020.
• The over 60s are the least likely age group to security mark their belongings and 75% of all respondents said property in their sheds and garages was not security marked. This indicates better communication of crime prevention advice is needed to encourage security stamping. Immobilise, the UK’s national property register, has promotional materials available on its website to encourage registration. 75% of survey respondents said they didn’t have detailed photographs of their valuables either. This can help to reunite property with its rightful owners and may also support an insurance claim in the event of a theft.
• 1 in 2 UK households (56%) do not have a burglar alarm installed at their property. Alarm systems are the number one burglar deterrent and can help to reduce your home insurance premiums as well. 71% of UK households do not have a CCTV system installed at home. As well as being a useful deterrent, in the event of an intrusion, CCTV cameras will capture vital evidence. The over 60s are less likely to have a burglar alarm or CCTV camera installed at their property, compared to younger age groups. This suggests that the over 60s may either be less inclined to leave their homes unoccupied or that they feel these types of security systems are unnecessary.
Reassuringly, many property owners are putting protective measures in place, with the survey revealing that:
• 75% of homeowners have indoor or outdoor security lighting, giving the impression someone is always at home.
• 86% of homeowners keep their front door locked, even when they are at home – a simple step to prevent intruders gaining access even when there is someone inside the property.
• 87% of homeowners practice keeping house and car keys out of sight overnight. Despite this, car theft rates in England and Wales have reached an eight-year high. Figures from the Association of British Insurers reveal that a pay-out for motor vehicle theft is made every eight minutes on average.
The survey also showed that:
• Over 45s are more likely to live in a Neighbourhood Watch area in the UK compared to younger age groups.
• Those living in rural counties are more likely to have CCTV installed at their home than those living in metropolitan areas.
• Under 45s are more likely to have CCTV installed at home than older age groups.