You never think about getting burgled until it happens to you or to someone you know. It’s just one of those things we put to the back of our minds, assuming it will never happen to us. Frighteningly though, it’s actually more common than we think and there are over 1 million burglaries reported every single year in the UK, with incidents occurring every 37 seconds, and what’s more a third of those caught were children!
As you can see from the map below the larger cities have the highest rates of reported burglaries, with London having a rate of 163.01 per 1000 people – the highest rate of anywhere else in England and Wales.
We are lucky enough to live outside of London and in a relatively quiet area of the country. It seems that living in less populated areas comes with added reassurance due to having community spirited behaviour, compared to larger cities where people come and go and never see or speak to their neighbours. It’s the community spirit that helps to deter burglars, but even in the more rural areas it’s still an issue, with rates of 14.2 in Pembrokeshire – still too high in my opinion.
I saw something in the news the other day, a mum had been bathing her daughter upstairs and some men broke in through her front door. I cannot even begin to imagine what that feels like or how I would react in that situation. Thankfully, as soon as she appeared they were scared off, but it could have been so much worse. My worst fear is being home when anything like that should happen and statistics show that a quarter of all intrusions happen while someone’s at home.
I think becoming a parent makes you more aware of the world you live in. We hear about terrible things happening in the news, but we need to ensure that our immediate surroundings are safe too. It seems families are most at risk, with semi-detached three bedroom houses being a popular target.
We need to protect ourselves as best we can, so here are a few ways to help deter burglars from breaking into your home.
- Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house
- Hide all keys out of sight and away from the letterbox
- Install outside lighting
- Use timed lighting for when you are not home
- Keep ladders and tools stored away
- Start a neighbourhood watch program if there isn’t one already
As well as making sure that our home is secure at all times, with window and door locks, I am now very conscious of our neighbourhood and the people around us. If I see someone I don’t know, then I make a point of looking at them, to see where they are going and what they are doing.
Thankfully, I’ve never had to report anything suspicious and through being aware, vigilant and a part of a community, hopefully I’ll never have to deal with the absolute horror and violation of having someone break into our home.
This is a collaborative post.