Over the summer, with COVID restrictions all-but removed and Britons getting back to a ‘normal’ way of life once more, the number of burglaries across the UK is increasing.
The most obvious reason for such an increase is, of course, the fact we are leaving our homes unattended more frequently. Many of those ‘working from home’ have transitioned back to the office whilst relaxing of travel regulations have led to many opting for a much deserved summer vacation, or ‘stay-cation’. Either way, criminals are quickly making up for a significant loss of earnings, having been somewhat deprived of opportunities over the last 18 months.
Whilst easy to assume that criminals operate with a limited IQ, many of them are masters of their ‘craft’. A burglar will rely on dozens of tell-tale tactics that help them identify a suitable target. Aside from obvious things we’ve all heard, like unlocked windows or lack of internal lighting, there are several signs that can tell a burglar ‘nobody’s home’.
Here are 6 things you may not have thought of that could be making life easier for a burglar.
Leaving notes for your delivery driver – With Briton’s shopping online more than ever before, many of us can expect to receive deliveries several times a week. The potential frustration of missing a delivery and having to rearrange a more convenient time can lead to many of us posting friendly notes for delivery drivers such as ‘leave with our neighbour’ or ‘please leave it in the porch’. The truth is, burglars can read and any such note can double up as an open invite to your home. Try to avoid leaving notes which explain your absence. Most couriers will allow you to configure options or instructions via their respective apps or websites, in the event you aren’t at home.
Your wheelie bins weren’t out for collection – ‘Why put the bin out if there’s nothing in it?’. When every home on your street has their bins lined up ready for collection, it’s easy for a burglar to spot the house which hasn’t followed suit. Similarly you may have left your bins out but haven’t been able to put them back on the drive in your absence. A burglar will take this as a sure sign that somebody hasn’t been home. Did you know, LSS provide a wheelie-bin put-out and collection service? When you’re away, our officers will take your bin to the curb for collection and put them back shortly after they have been collected. To arrange this service please, contact LSS today or speak to your local patrol officer.
A full letterbox – Whether it’s important correspondence or nuisance junk mail, if you’re away for a prolonged period of time your letterbox can become clogged. For a burglar, this can be a good sign that nobody is home to collect the mail. Consider asking a neighbour, friend or family member to collect any half posted items from your letterbox. Likewise, you can advise LSS that you will be away and our patrol officers will push any part-posted mail through your letterbox whilst performing regular perimeter checks.
Social Media – As frightful as it sounds, burglars could be using social media to check on the whereabouts of potential targets. Many of us have a temptation to post images of the nice things we own. Similarly we like to let our followers know when we’re visiting nice places. Unknowingly, you could be sharing this information with the wrong person – essentially letting them know that you’re not at home, or that you own something very valuable. Try and keep social media accounts private – this can be done via your privacy settings in app. If your account is private, review your ‘follower’ list and look to remove followers that you may not know.
Dated, or unreliable burglar alarms – The most valuable review a burglar alarm or security system could receive would be that of a burglars. When it comes to product testing security systems, burglars are seasoned-pro’s. They will likely carry first hand knowledge of which brands are a ‘no-go’ and which brands aren’t worth worrying about. If you have concerns that your home security system isn’t up to scratch, contact LSS today to arrange a free site survey or consider the benefits a state-of-the-art, real-time sensor system could provide such as ProResponse+.
1 Skip, 0 Cars – During lockdown, many of us took the opportunity to improve our homes. From loft extensions and en-suite bathrooms to conservatories and garden offices, major building works can lead to extended periods of time away from home to avoid the resulting mess and noise. Tradespeople can come and go throughout the day, passing the responsibility of locking up onto their colleagues. If the only thing parked on your driveway at night is a big yellow skip, burglars may take a chance on there being nobody home. If you are away from home for any period of time, contact LSS and arrange for our officers to perform regular perimeter checks ensuring all windows and doors are secure. If possible, leave a car on the driveway to help sow a seed of doubt for any potential burglars.
The above items aren’t the only things a burglar will look out for when it comes to identifying ease targets. There are many ways a burglar might target your home but often the least obvious things can provide the biggest clues. For more information on securing your home from burglaries and break-ins, check out our Action & Prevention article.