What the 2021 burglary statistics tell us about home security

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The 2021 crime statistics for England and Wales were published recently and make for interesting reading.

While the overall crime rate has fallen over the past five years, with fewer incidents like home or business burglary or theft recorded, it’s still high enough to remain a significant problem.

And even though awareness of domestic and commercial security has increased, and people are investing more to protect their property, sadly crime still affects too many people across the country.

The latest crime figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, show that in the year to the end of March 2021, there were 196,469 domestic burglaries in England and Wales. In addition, 93,318 vehicles were stolen, and there were 193,315 reported thefts from vehicles. And 71,315 business premises were also burgled during the 12-month period.

The figures mark for stark reading and should serve as a warning to home and business owners alike about the importance of investing in additional security measures.

So, if you’re worried about crime in your area, or just want the additional peace of mind of knowing that your home – or business – is better protected, here are some tips to improve your security.

External security measures

As in previous years, the 2021 crime figures make clear that once again, most break-ins happen during the evening or night. Almost two-thirds (62%) of domestic burglaries took place between the hours of 6pm and 6am.

The night-time hours, especially at this time of year, provide the perfect conditions to would-be intruders, as they can operate under the cover of darkness with less chance of being spotted or disturbed by neighbours or passers-by.

So, to help keep you home more secure as the nights draw in, there are a few things you can do.

Installing motion-sensitive exterior security lights is a good deterrent, as they can illuminate any potential burglars as they approach your property.

Getting a timer to control your interior lights is also a good idea. With the advent of smart technology, there are plenty of options to go for, from installing a simple timer to switch your lights on automatically at a set time each day, to a smart security system, which you can control with your mobile phone even when you’re not at home.

And the final tip is just plain common sense – you should always close your curtains or blinds at night, especially when there is no-one home. If opportunistic thieves think your property is empty, they may be tempted to break in. If they’re not sure, they may think twice.

Target hardening

It’s probably no surprise that doors and windows were the most common form of entry highlighted by the 2021 crime figures. In around three-quarters of all domestic burglaries, the intruders got in via the door, while windows were the point of entry in one in five incidents.

So, making it harder for would-be thieves to access your property by the window or door is essential.

The obvious advice here is to always ensure your doors and windows are locked, especially if you are not home. However, installing additional security measures is also recommended.

Checking all your locks meet British Standard requirements is a good place to start. Replacing or upgrading locks which don’t will not only improve your door security but may also be a requirement by your insurance company. You may even be able to get a cheaper premium as a result.

Installing additional locks or deadbolts can also help.

Ensuring your exterior doors and windows – and their frames – are strong and sturdy is also important. The more solid and robust they are, the harder they will be to force.

And being careful with your spare keys is vital. Most opportunistic thieves know all the most common places to hide them. So, don’t make it easy for them by hiding a space key on top of the doorframe, under the doormat, behind a plant pot, in your letterbox or in other similar places. And while external key safes can help, they are still not 100% reliable and can be easily broken apart by a determined burglar with the right tools.

In short, don’t take any silly risks with your keys, as you never know who’s hands they may fall into.

Technology

One of the best deterrents to would-be criminals is to give the impression that you take your home or business security seriously.

A burglar alarm with a visible siren box, CCTV cameras and good exterior lighting all demonstrate that you mean business and will make potential thieves think twice before breaking in, as they won’t want to risk getting caught.

CCTV cameras have the added advantage of providing useful evidence in the event of a crime, to help the police to catch the criminals – and recover your property – faster.

Getting a home safe to store your high-value items and important paperwork – like bank details, passports and driving licenses – is also important.

Security solutions in Nottingham

As a trusted provider of home security solutions in Nottinghamshire and across the East Midlands for many years, Grays Locksmiths Nottingham has helped thousands of happy customers to keep their homes safe and secure.

Whether you’re looking to boost the security of your locks and windows, invest in a home alarm system or install a safe, CCTV or security lighting, we can help.

We’ve been helping secure homes in and around Nottingham against theft and burglary since 1987.

So, if you want to make your home more secure, give us a call on 0115 942 2315, or email our Nottingham Security Centre to find out how our friendly, expert team can help.