By Calvin at 10:26 GMT, 7 years ago
An article by Chris Maume entitled ‘Burglars take our piece of mind’ appears today in the Independent (online). It describes the family’s devastation at being burgled, which robbed them of their planned holiday, passports, cash and cards. It is an account I became all too familiar with during my policing days and brought back memories of the night time burglary my family suffered some ten years ago when I stupidly left the key in the back door, which had a cat-flap!
Three things particularly stood out for me when reading the story:
‘She went into the kitchen, where drawers were open, and then into the front room: the sash window was wide open, the bolt snapped.’
‘The police were models of empathy (though the crime scene officer, who came round later to look for fingerprints, did give us a slightly stern talking-to about security).
‘The leaflets and booklets we were given are mostly fairly obvious stuff – hide your valuables, fit a mortice lock, that kind of thing. The police told us to get window alarms, which we've done – £20 for half a dozen on Amazon – and said we should cut the front hedge back, so there's better visibility from the pavement.’
Although we don’t have the precise details these three paragraphs give us some clues about the level of home security at the time of the offence: A poorly secured sliding sash window at the front of the house hidden behind a hedge that was in need of some serious pruning.
Looking at this account purely objectively one can see that this was yet one more burglary that should not have happened and probably would not have happened if that hedge had been lower and the window had been locked more securely. The burglar wouldn’t have selected their house along the street because his activity might have been seen by the neighbours.
Although I have huge sympathy for what happened to the Maume family (and you should read Chris’s full account) their experience is a lesson for all of us to do the ‘fairly obvious stuff’ now, BEFORE a burglar walks down our street looking for opportunities.
Burglary might be a lot lower now than during its peak in the mid 1990s, but burglars will always be about and those of us who are less well prepared will normally be the victims
Our Home Security Survey allows you to select one of 8 different dwelling types. It’ll take you around 15 to 20 minutes to complete and you’ll be sent a free security report and crime risk assessment score tailored just for you. It’ll point out the ‘fairly obvious stuff’ but will refer you to sections on this site where you can look at the detail about what you should do.
Give it a go – you know it makes sense! http://thecrimepreventionwebsite.com/home-security-assessment/468/home-security-survey--diy/