Crime and National Home Security Month
According to figures from Home Security Month, which runs throughout October, nationally there’s a 25% spike in burglaries as the nights draw in throughout autumn and into winter.
With the latest annual crime figures here in Hampshire showing a 14% jump in the incidence of burglary from 10,900 in 2015/16 to 12,437 offences for the year ending March this year*, it makes the security of your home more important than ever.
“After years of decline in the incidence of burglary, figures here in Hampshire show the same increase that’s being seen more widely nationally”, said Mark Pearce. “Ultimately, if someone is determined enough to break into your property it can be very difficult to stop them but there are things that we can all do to make it more difficult and our homes far less appealing to intruders.”
According to National Homes Security Month (NHSM), sponsored by Yale, as well as the 25% jump in break ins in autumn and winter, statistically, Halloween and Bonfire Night are statistically the worst days of the year for burglary.
Statistics compiled by NHSM show that in 70% of burglaries, the offender gained access through a door, while even more shockingly 16% of homeowners don’t bother to lock their doors and windows when they leave the house!
“Doors and windows, alongside alarms are very much in the front line of home security so ensuring that they’re in good working order and making sure that they’re locked, is a common sense first step in crime prevention”, said Mark.
“It’s worth, however, getting your doors and windows checked to make sure locks are up to the job because older doors and windows feature some inherent weaknesses, which could leave your home vulnerable, even if they appear to be secure.”
He points to a failing in Euro Cylinder locks, which were widely used up until just a few years ago. Where these protrude from the handle they can be ‘snapped’ by burglars. Another method, cylinder ‘bumping’ knocks the pins used to hold the lock in place out of alignment, leaving no trace that the door has been forced!
“There are other potential issues”, continued Mark. “In older PVC-U panel doors, the panels can be kicked out, while older or poorly maintained timber doors are vulnerable because they don’t have multi-point locking.
“The point is, it’s worth just double checking. If you have got an older Euro Cylinder on your door, it’s a low-cost exercise to replace it and it could save you a world of grief down the line.”
*Hampshire Constabulary Freedom of Information Request HC/00944/17
You can find out more about National Home Security Month here.