BUR­GLARS TAR­GET THE 3-BED SEMI

Glossop Advertiser - - Home Advice -

here you live plays a big part in whether your home is bur­gled. But it’s not just the area, it’s rather the type of prop­erty you live in that’s at­trac­tive or off-putting to thieves.

The most pop­u­lar tar­get for breakin mer­chants is the three-bed­room semi.

New re­search by Churchill Home In­surance says three-bed­room homes are at great­est risk, ac­count­ing for al­most half (46 per cent to be ex­act) of home bur­glar­ies.

And that’s not just be­cause the three-bed home is most com­mon across the coun­try. It’s more down to the at­trac­tive­ness of that type of prop­erty to thieves.

To work out what bur­glars look for, you have to think like one. Be­cause they rarely know whether you have loads of valu­able items to steal or not, most bur­glars look first for an easy tar­get. And it’s usu­ally only once they are in your home they search for things to take.

The clas­sic three-bed­room semi is of­ten easy meat for them. It can be sim­ple to ac­cess the side and back, so they can get in with­out any­one notic­ing.

Equally, homes at the end of a ter­race are more vul­ner­a­ble than those in the middle, as they have side or rear en­try. On ter­raced streets, end proper- ties ac­count for over a quar­ter of break-ins, even though they’re a small frac­tion of each road’s to­tal hous­ing.

If you live in a flat, the re­search shows the higher up you live, the safer you are from un­wanted at­ten­tion. The fig­ures re­veal liv­ing in a ground-floor flat means you are twice as likely to be bur­gled than some­one on the first floor, with ground-floor break-ins said to ac­count for 65 per cent of all apart­ment bur­glar­ies.

Both ground and first floors are sim­ple to climb into. They of­ten have easy to ac­cess bal­conies with doors and win­dows left un­se­cured – of­fer­ing a quick way in and, just as im­por­tant, a rapid route out in case of dis­cov­ery or dis­tur­bance.

Higher up is safer; here the big risk is “dis­trac­tion” theft, where some­one knocks on the door claim­ing to have a par­cel, or to have come from a util­ity com­pany, be­fore barg­ing in and tak­ing things.

Long term, bur­glar­ies have de­clined as easy-to-sell elec­tron­ics have be­come too cheap to bother with and home­own­ers take bet­ter pre­cau­tions.

But in April 2016 to March 2017, the 1. Bur­glars hate homes that are oc­cu­pied. You ob­vi­ously can’t stay in all the time so leave lights on – in­vest in a timer switch. 2. Dogs are a de­ter­rent. You can buy dog recordings linked to in­fra-red switches. 3. Al­ways lock win­dows and doors be­fore you go out. Thieves rarely smash their way in – ex­cept in iso­lated lo­ca­tions. 4. Lock sheds and out­houses. It’s sur­pris­ing how many valu­able items such as power tools and sports equip­ment are kept in gar­den build­ings. 5. Never keep car keys by a door – that makes them easy to find and sim­ple to steal. 6. Af­ter a bur­glary, in­sur­ers usu­ally rec­om­mend in­creas­ing the qual­ity of locks and other de­fences. So check these be­fore you ex­pe­ri­ence trou­ble. Three-bed­room homes can be easy meat for bur­glars most re­cent year where records ex­ist, the wel­come down­ward trend re­versed – there were 171,527 recorded in­ci­dents of do­mes­tic bur­glar­ies – up 2 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year.

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