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Ex-cons reveal their top security tips

18 August 2017

  • 89% of ex-cons say connected homes will put thieves off
  • Ex-cons say 44% of thieves are opportunists so avoid tricky break ins
  • 20% of adults update their social profiles when they’re going on holiday.

Smart connected cars and homes are keeping burglars at bay, according to a new study conducted among a panel of ex-convicts*, released today by Co-op Insurance. The study reveals that over four fifths (89%) of ex-cons would be put off targeting a smart connected home, with a further two thirds (67%) stating they would steer clear of connected cars.

When delving into the reasons as to why this is the case, over two fifths (44%) said thieves are opportunists and so would avoid these trickier break-ins. Despite this, just 5% of UK adults have invested in smart technology for their homes and cars.**

The study also reveals the top 10 factors which ex-convicts say are biggest deterrents for home and car thieves. CCTV cameras, the sound of a barking dog and strong heavy doors are most likely to put off home burglars. Whilst, CCTV street cameras, car alarms and street lighting top the list for car thieves.

#Top 10 deterrents for home thievesTop 10 deterrents for car thieves
1 CCTV camera CCTV street camera
2 Sound of a barking dog Car alarm
3 Strong heavy doors Street lighting
4 TV which is turned on Car parked on a driveway
5 Locked UPVC windows Newer car
6 Cars parked on driveway Steering lock device
7 Overlooked property Older car
8 Surrounding fences Neighbourhood Watch areas
9 Gates outside of the property Car parked on a dark alleyway
10 Motion activated security lights Immobiliser

Despite this, just over a tenth (14%) of UK adults say they’ve installed CCTV cameras and whilst ex-thieves point out that motion activated security lights are a key deterrent for home thieves, just a quarter (24%) of UK adults say they’ve installed such lights.

Further highlighting the UK’s lack of home security, over a quarter (28%) of UK adults say they don’t take any security precautions. Over half (55%) sleep with their windows open at night, a quarter (24%) leave their doors unlocked whilst at home, and over a tenth (12%) have admitted to leaving their garden gates open.

What's more, a fifth (20%) said they actively post photos on social media showing that they’re on holiday.

Caroline Hunter, Head of Home Insurance at Co-op, said: “Our research shows that almost half (44%) of thieves are opportunists and so it’s really important that home and car owners are vigilant and think carefully about the security of their homes and vehicles.

“Nobody should have to go through the trauma of having their property burgled and there are some small measures which homeowners should be mindful of to ensure any opportunists cannot be tempted.”

When weighing up properties to target, ex-convicts advised that the most difficult break-ins are of those properties situated in cities (82%). Three quarters (75%) of ex-convicts, said properties in isolated locations are easiest to break into.

Furthermore, the study reveals that houses off dirt tracks, bungalows and properties on housing estates are among those easiest to break into, whilst mid terraces, apartments with manned security and semi-detached houses are the most difficult to target.

Former bank robber Noel 'Razor' Smith commented: “As a former criminal, I know all the tricks homeowners use to keep their homes safe, that’s why I find it shocking that the Co-op’s research reveals 28% of us don’t take any precautions whatsoever. Luckily there are some very simple steps everyone can take to make our homes more secure and keep our valuables safe”

Lynn Farrar, Chair of Neighbourhood Watch added: "Having your car or home broken into can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on families, the effects of which can stay with an individual for some time. Sadly, break-ins do happen and this study re-enforces the need for greater home security, so it’s really good to hear that the Co-op are raising awareness of this”

ENDS

In light of this study, Co-op Insurance is giving a free dash cam and indoor security camera to its new home and motor customers.

Notes to editors

*Survey of 12 ex-convicts was conducted by Unlock on behalf of Co-op Insurance.

**Study of 2000 UK adults conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of Co-op Insurance.

For more information contact:

Emily Penkett
07738 621201
emily.penkett@coop.co.uk
@coopukpress

Rosie Brierley
07834 446709
rosie.brierley@coop.co.uk
@coopukpress