• Posted Tuesday May 01, 2018

Shedding light on opportunistic burglaries

hand at lock

As we near the middle of Spring, while the weather may continue to disappoint – at least we can be cheered by lighter mornings and longer evenings.  Unfortunately, there is a darker side of summer to be aware of as yearly statistics show longer daylight hours can also bring thieves out of hibernation, with opportunistic burglary rising sharply after the clocks have gone forward.

Research from insurers shows the average cost of opportunistic burglary is £1208, which is a large outlay for something which might be avoided with a few simple safety measures:

  1. Keep valuables out of sight. 
    • Temptation is usually the starting point for opportunistic burglary and in most cases, if a thief doesn’t know there is something worth stealing – they won’t take the risk.
  2. Check the security of sheds and outbuildings. 
    • Tools, bikes and other valuables could all be at risk if locks are inadequate or missing altogether.  These areas are often overlooked when security is considered but still make rich pickings for thieves.
  3. Be vigilant about windows. 
    • As the weather improves people will naturally open windows but if they are left open when the property is empty they are exactly the invitation opportunistic thieves are looking for.
  4. Don’t make it easy for them! 
    • Spare keys left in places such as under doormats or plant pots by the front door are extremely obvious hiding places and give unrestricted access to our homes.  Keys should also be kept out of sight and not left near windows and doors where they are easily available to the wrong people. If you have back and side gates – invest in locks – making it even more difficult for someone to enter your property.
  5. Invest in lighting. 
    • Even during daylight hours, motion sensor security lights can be an extremely effective in deterring would-be thieves.  This can also be a great way to lighten up darker corners of your garden such as where your shed might be, making these targets far less attractive to thieves.
  6. Advertise your awareness. 
    • You can also invest in a few neighbourhood watch or ‘beware CCTV’ stickers, which can also act as a good deterrent to the would-be thief.

Opportunistic burglars are all essentially ‘trying their luck’ and they thrive in areas in which security is an afterthought.  If you can demonstrate that they will not have an easy ride –they are far less likely to disturb your property in the first place.

If you are considering giving your home a security review, TrustMark recommends you calling in an expert.  You can search our website for a security professional working to government endorsed standards that is local to you.  This will give you the peace of mind that you will receive a high-quality service, with all the added protection of available financial protection and access to dispute resolution services in the event that things do go wrong.