The succession of lockdowns because of the pandemic during 2020 and 2021 revealed at least one silver lining – almost every type of crime fell throughout England and Wales, according to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on the 5th of January 2021. Those healthy trends were confirmed in a report by the BBC on the 28th of March 2021, which reflected appreciable reductions in the incidence of both robbery and theft during 2020 compared with 2019.
The downside is that, as restrictions have been gradually relaxed, there has followed a gradual resurgence in crime – including burglary – reported the Crime Science Journal on the 4th of March 2021.
Don’t drop your guard
While you might have been lulled into a false sense of security during the successive lockdowns, therefore, you must once again be careful not to drop your guard but instead do all you can to beat the burglar.
It might not be before too long, therefore, that we return to pre-pandemic levels of crime where a residential burglary was being committed every 40 seconds in the UK – according to Safe Style Windows – or sooner than it will take you to read this article. More worrying still might be the fact that nearly three out of every 10 burglaries (28%) are carried out while there is someone at home.
The truth about residential burglaries
Police UK reveal that most burglars are opportunistic thieves – they’ll seize any chance to gain entry to your home and snatch whatever looks valuable to them.
Just as they’ll be looking for the easiest opportunities, though, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to keep them out – just keeping thinking smart and staying one step ahead of them:
- most points of entry, for instance, are by forcing or breaking down the front door – so make sure yours is robust and strong enough to withstand that kind of assault;
- burglars are looking for items that appear to shout high value as soon as you look at them – so don’t place or leave any such items where they can be easily seen through the front windows or a glazed front door;
- the locks on your door and windows are there for a reason, so remember to keep them locked whenever you go out – and don’t leave the keys where they can be seen or close to a letterbox, for instance, where they might easily be unhooked with a piece of wire;
- a number of burglars may have a very particular “shopping list” of items they’re prepared to steal to order, like premium-brand cars, motorbikes, and cycles, and will make a beeline for the obvious places you’ve likely hung up the keys – so don’t make it so easy for them;
- don’t keep valuables loose in a jewellery box or stashed away in a drawer but install a safe at home or rent a safety deposit box at your bank;
- you might not have given so much thought to security of the shed or even the garage, yet it is here that burglars often find the very tools they need to break into your home – and then make off with the valuable tools themselves;
- inside your home, connect some of the lights or a TV or radio to timer switches, so that they turn on automatically and might give the impression that there’s someone at home even when you’re out for the evening or away on holiday;
- the simple fact is that burglars love the cover of darkness – the more light the better and the greater the deterrence, so install movement-detecting lighting around the outside of your property and adjust it so that it is not tripped accidentally, by small animals moving about, for example;
- you’ll probably not be aware that your home is under surveillance, but it doesn’t take that long for any budding intruder to discover your routines – when you leave the house on those school runs, let’s say, or if you’re packing the car to go off on holiday;
- alert your neighbours anytime you are planning a holiday away from home and ask them to kindly keep an open eye on your property – you can thank them later, with a gift from whatever seaside resort you’ve visited;
- you might be more cautious and alert to the risk of a home invasion if it’s happened before – once bitten, twice shy, and all that – but the strange fact is that burglars often return to the very house they’ve broken into before, especially if no greater security measures appear to have been taken.
If the long-awaited re-emergence from depressing and life-constraining lockdowns results in a return to pre-pandemic levels of burglary, break-ins, and theft, make sure you are not one of the unfortunate homeowners c