What’s your status? 4 out of 5 ex-burglars believe thieves are targeting your home using social media*
A survey carried out by UK home security experts Friedland has revealed social media is being put to use by today’s home burglars [26 September 2011]
An overwhelming 78% of ex-burglars interviewed said that they strongly believed social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Four Square are being used by current thieves when targeting properties, with nearly three quarters (74%) stating that in their expert opinion, Google Street View was playing a role in today’s home thefts.
According to the report, the average home burglary takes just over ten minutes to commit**, the time it takes to walk to the corner shop and back and shockingly, only two minutes to break into a household with no visible security. The findings come from research of 50 ex-burglars, commissioned to mark Friedland’s ‘UK Home Security Week 2011’, an initiative supported by Crimestoppers to uncover what makes a home a prime target for today’s thieves.
The report also exposed that in one burglary hit, a thief can cash in £487*** of goods on average, compared to the average insurance claim being just over £1200****.This is despite nearly four out of five (78%) ex-burglars admitting a simple home alarm system would have prevented them from targeting a property in the first place.
Jonathan Lim, Security Expert at Friedland, comments: “The research has granted us access to an elusive group in society and assisted us in learning more about the habits of today’s burglars. The findings have broken down some of the illusions commonly associated with burglaries; with four out of five (80%) revealing burglary was not opportunistic, instead returning to a property a number of times before breaking in. We know that by taking simple measures, including cutting back trees and shrubs to remove potential hiding places and installing simple alarm systems priced from just £100 are all good, cost-effective deterrents that all homeowners can implement to remove their home from the target list.”
The report also revealed the top five most common mistakes that homeowners are making in the eyes of our ex-burglars:
- 94% of homeowners leaving windows open
- Over three quarters (78%) leaving valuables in easy view of passers by
- Over half (54%) placing their status and whereabouts on social networking sites
- 52% making the common mistake of hiding keys by doorways
- Half (50%) stated that parcel deliveries left out was a big draw
As part of the awareness around UK Home Security Week, Friedland is also working with property expert and builder, Tommy Walsh, to highlight the simple things that homeowners can do to protect their properties. Tommy explained: “Protecting your house doesn’t have to be an expensive process, by installing a visible alarm, fitting window locks, not leaving expensive packaging by the outdoor bins or simply planting some thorny shrubs to stop burglars climbing over fences, can all reduce the risk to your property.”
Dave Cording, Deputy Chief Executive for Crimestoppers, said, “We’re pleased to support Friedland on this year’s UK Home Security Week and appreciate the importance of bringing home security to the forefront of people’s minds. The research has been insightful and revealed that by taking simple measures, from using a visible alarm system, ensuring all your windows are closed and taking care when posting on social networks, you can protect your home from falling foul to burglars.”
For more information on UK Home Security Week, Tommy Walsh’s top tips and to download the home security guide, please visit the website.
For more information, please contact the Friedland team at Weber Shandwick on (0)20 7067 0258.
Notes to editors:
As part of the week, Friedland Response UK Home Security Week Alarm Kits are available from B&Q and will inlcude £75 worth of product at no extra cost for every purchase.
All results in above press release are based on a research report by the Survey Shop of 50 ex-burglars, previously convicted of household burglary obtained during the period of 5 – 23 August 2011. Results are presented as column percentages, rounded to the nearest whole, and arithmetic means.
*Based on the feedback from the 50 ex-burglars, looking at whether they think social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare are being used by today’s burglars and play a role in home theft.
**Based on the estimated mean time from the 50 ex-burglars, looking at how long it took them to burgle a home
***Based on the estimated mean average from the 50 ex-burglars, looking at how much money would an average burglary have been worth when turned into cash.
Topline Findings (key points highlighted below in bold):
4 out of 5 ex-burglars (78%) believe that social networking websites are being used by today’s current burglars when targeting UK properties, including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare
- Nearly three quarters (74%) stating that in their expert opinion, Google Street View was playing a role in today’s home thefts
- Nearly 3 out of 4 burglars took under 2 minutes to break into a home with no visible security system
- 4 out of 5 ex-burglars (78%) stated that visible alarm systems stopped them from targeting a property
- Top 5 common mistakes made by homeowners identified by ex-burglars:
1) Open Windows
2) Leaving valuables in easy view of passers by
3) Placing their status and whereabouts on social media
4) Hidden keys in doorways
5) Parcel deliveries left out
- Our ex-burglars took an average of 10.2 minutes to burgle a home and would turn their swag into an average of £487 cash compared to average insurance claim is £1200
What were the main findings from the research of ex-burglars?
Please see above
What is UK Home Security Week and why is it important?
UK Home Security Week was launched in 2010 by Friedland and is designed to highlight what you can do to combat crime against your property. This year we wanted to hear directly from the people with the insider knowledge, so we interviewed 50 ex-burglars to reveal to consumers what makes a home a prime target for today’s thieves.
What do people need to be aware of when it comes to home security?
Many people think it's expensive or difficult to make their homes secure, however there are plenty of simple steps you can take to deter intruders. Such as... (Please see top tips below).
What measures should people be taking to keep their property and their family safe?
Friedland’s research has revealed that installing a simple alarm system would deter 4 out of 5 burglars. Or just common sense things like:
1. Don’t leave windows open
2. Don’t leave valuables in easy view of passers by
3. Don’t place your status and whereabouts on social media
4. Don’t hide keys in doorways
5. Don’t leave parcel deliveries left out but leave with a neighbour
Where can people go for more information?
For further information on UK Home Security Week and to download Friedland’s Home Security Guide, please visit their website.
- The week is designed to highlight what you can do to combat crime against your property
- Many people think it's expensive or difficult to make their homes secure, however there are plenty of simple steps you can take to deter intruders
- Friedland UK Home Security Week from the 24th to 30th September 2011
- For further information on UK Home Security Week and to download Friedland’s Home Security Guide, please visit: http://www.ukhomesecurityweek.co.uk/
- UK Home Security Week is supported by Crimestoppers
- Make your home appear occupied when you are out or away - use timers to switch on lights and radios, cancel milk, get a trustworthy neighbour to collect post and if possible, park in your driveway.
- Keep valuables safely stored out of site in a safe.
- Ensure that you have put away ladders, tools or garden furniture that could provide access to windows - and keep keys hidden away from doors and windows.
- Invest in good quality locks on all doors and windows - and make sure that you close all windows when you go out, especially if the windows are on the ground floor or above a flat roof.
- Securely lock your shed and fit a shed alarm to protect your valuable equipment. Make sure you lock ladders away.
- Use gravel and pebbles on driveways and paths to enable you to hear visitors approaching your house.
- CCTV and Burglar Alarms are highly visual and effective deterrents - and don't have to cost the earth, Friedland’s are priced from £100 upwards
- Crimestoppers is an independent charity which helps the police to solve crimes, making communities safer. It does this by operating the 24/7 telephone number 0800 555 111 which people can ring to pass on information about crimes anonymously. They can also use our ‘giving information’ form via our website www.crimestoppers-uk.org
- Around 23 people are arrested and charged every day as a result of information given to Crimestoppers.
- Since Crimestoppers began in 1988, it has received over a million actionable calls, resulting in over 108,000 arrests and charges. Over £115 million worth of goods has been recovered and over £213 million worth of drugs has been seized.
- In 2005, Crimestoppers launched the UK’s Most Wanted on its website which allows the public to view images of criminals and pass on vital information about their whereabouts. It has been highly successful with over 1,000 arrests to date.
- Crimestoppers UK was founded by Lord Ashcroft, KCMG, Chairman of Trustees. In 1988, he launched Crimestoppers in the Metropolitan Police area. Crimestoppers’ ‘call to action’ is built on a three-way partnership between the business community, the police and the media.
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