Burglaries Up – Advice for Homeowners
Domestic burglaries increased by 4% compared to the previous year’s figures, according to Home Office quarterly crime statistics for the quarter to September 2008. This is the first significant rise for some years and the worsening economic conditions may result in a continuing upward trend for a time.
The general trend for domestic burglaries has been steadily falling since 1997, down by 55%. How much is accountable to economic trends or to the impact of crime prevention measures by home owners is difficult to quantify.
There is undoubtedly a correlation between burglaries and recession, but just as at any time, sensible security measures will considerably reduce your chance of becoming a burglary victim. Now is a good time for you to review your security, just to be sure you are fully protected.
We recommend contacting your local police who will provide you with impartial crime prevention advice. Intruder alarms, and even CCTV in high value/higher risk properties, may be measures to consider.
However, you should ensure that any electronic security installation company you choose can prove they meet recognised industry standards by being approved by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UK’s leading security inspectorate.
And be warned. The any increase in burglary statistics will be gleefully exploited by unscrupulous security companies, painting a picture of doom to the unsuspecting householder. However, you should be very wary of unregulated security companies playing heavily on these statistics and other negative reports in the press.
Good security companies will do no more than acknowledge official figures and not use them for pressure-selling their products.
So our advice is:
- Obtain impartial advice as to which security measures will increase your properties protection.
- Check with your insurance company who may give you a discount if you have a professionally-installed intruder alarm.
- Contact and request quotes from at least three NSI approved installers that are currently identified on our website http://www.nsi.org.uk/. Provide them with details of any insurer requirements.
- Ensure each of these companies visits your property to conduct a risk assessment before submitting a quote. Without doing this they cannot provide you with an accurate quote as each property’s risks are unique.
- Do not rush into signing a contract. Understand what you get for your money. The cheapest deal may not always be the best. Seek further advice if necessary.
- When your alarm is installed, make sure your installation company provides you with a Certificate of Compliance which you made need as evidence for your insurer.
- Take out a maintenance contract to ensure your system remains effective for years to come. Without this, your system may degrade and fail you when it’s most needed.
Taken from the NSI website.