The clocks have gone back, and the nights are drawing in, which makes this time of year a burglar’s paradise.
Figures show that home burglaries in the UK tend to spike in the winter months, with many burglars typically operating under cover of darkness.
Some are just opportunists who will amble across an empty house and try their luck.
Some burglaries, however, are committed with precision planning so the criminals can minimise their chances of getting caught and target properties with lots of high-value items inside, or worse, occupants who might not kick up a fuss.
They may target homes that have lax security measures or have been burgled before. Or they might have elderly or lone occupants who may be less likely to put up a fight if they are disturbed.
Organised criminals have even come up with their own way of marking properties that might make easy targets, to let other people in their networks know.
However, despite this so-called ‘Da Pinchi Code’ making press headlines and trending on social media, most of the symbols which are thought to be used by criminals to mark properties for potential burglary have a more innocent meaning.
So, read on as we take a closer look at the house markings that burglars allegedly use and what they really mean.
The Da Pinchi Code
The signs that criminals use to let each other know about potential burglary targets has become the stuff of myth and legend in recent years.
Many householders have reported suspicious markings to the police when they have appeared in spray paint or chalk on pavements, lampposts or even on the side of their properties.
However, although some of them may give genuine cause for concern, there’s more likely a different meaning behind each one.
For example, urban legend has it that a rectangle with a cross inside marks a house as a good potential target, whereas the reality is that it is used to mark out where access to the water supply is.
Two interlinking rectangles, meanwhile, are thought in crime circles to represent nervous or scared occupants. However, it is more commonly used to indicate the potential relocation of a manhole.
And while a circle with a big cross through it might indicate that a house contains nothing worth stealing, a more likely explanation is that it’s used to mark a new lamppost position.
Check out the image below to see some other common house markings and what they really mean.
How to secure your home against burglars
Of course, although there might be more fantasy than reality when it comes to the house markings that burglars supposedly use to mark the properties of potentially lucrative victims, there are steps that all homeowners should take to keep their homes safe.
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to burglary. If you can stop a break-in from happening in the first place, it can save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run.
Door & window security
In 99% of all domestic burglaries, the intruders will get into your home via either your doors or windows, so making sure they are secure is vital.
Keeping them locked at all times is paramount, as a surprising number of break-ins occur when doors or windows are left open or unattended.
Making sure your doors and windows are robust, have British Standard locks and that the mechanisms, hinges and handles are all working smoothly can also ensure they are protecting your property as they should.
If you want to add a further layer of security, window grilles or shutters would be a good addition. So would installing extra locks on your most vulnerable access points.
As we said earlier, criminals love the dark, it makes it easier for them to creep around undetected.
So, installing some exterior security lighting around your home to put unwanted visitors in the spotlight could help keep them at bay.
Although extra lighting won’t make your property any harder to break into, it will act as a strong visual deterrent to anyone thinking of breaking in.
Home alarm system
Home alarm systems have come a long way in recent years and are more affordable than ever.
Again, they provide a great visual deterrent to anyone thinking of breaking in.
In the event of a break-in, having an alarm, especially if it’s monitored, will lead to a more rapid response and increase the chances of detection.
And finally, if you have a smart home alarm system, you can integrate it with a host of other security measures, such as CCTV, access control, automated lighting and other applications, for the ultimate peace of mind.
Give Grays Locksmiths Nottingham a call
When it comes to home security, a few simple steps can go a long way.
We don’t have a call-out charge, and there are no hidden costs.
We’re here to give you simple, honest home security advice to help you protect your family and the things you love.
So, if you are concerned about protecting your home as the nights draw in, or simply want some security advice for a bit of peace of mind, give us a call on 0115 942 2315, even if it’s just to ask us a question or talk about any security concerns you may have.
We’d love to hear from you.