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Burglaries in Northamptonshire on the increase

Posted on by Lynx Security

Northampton crime rates

Having strong home security is vital for keeping your family and belongings safe. Not only can burglar alarms and CCTV systems help stop criminals and catch them, their mere presence can deter them from targeting your home. The improved prevalence of home security systems up and down the country is widely accepted to be a large influential factor in the trend of declining burglary rates over the last 20 years or so. Despite this decline, the latest police force crime statistics still show that theft offences – the crime group that burglary is a part of – are still the most common form of reported crime in England and Wales.

Burglaries increasing in Northamptonshire
On a sub-national level, local police force data shows that over the last couple of years, burglaries in Northamptonshire have been on the rise. In the year ending in March 2017, there was a 10% rise in reported burglaries within the region, compared to the previous year. The increase is even more pronounced for burglaries specifically on domestic properties, with an 18% increase in home burglaries in the year March 2016-17 compared to March 2015-16.

With police collected crime statistics becoming available quarterly, we can see this isn’t an isolated issue. In fact, the data from the year ending December 2016 showed even higher increases in burglaries in Northamptonshire, a 24% rise compared to the year before. The upward trend in the region’s burglary crime rates can be traced back to 2015, with the first annual percentage increase in burglaries coming in the March 2015 – 2016 report.

Domestic burglary
Domestic burglary is where a person trespasses into a dwelling and subsequently steals, or attempts to steal, something. Victims of domestic burglary consistently rate this form of theft as more serious than that from a building which is not a home – for example, a garage or office building. This is likely due to items in the home having greater potential value, and a perception that trespassing in a home comes with a greater violation of privacy and trust.

Electronics theft
Electronics are a common target in burglaries.

The police force figures of increasing burglaries in Northamptonshire paints a general picture, but they don’t provide much detailed information. However, from the data collected by the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), we can learn and understand more about the circumstances surrounding domestic burglaries. Here are some of their notable findings:

– The means of entry in domestic burglaries is through a door approximately 70% of the time, and a window 30% of the time.
– Burglaries are more likely to occur during the week (~70% of incidents), rather than at the weekend (~30% of incidents).
– Around 60% of home burglaries occur at night or in the evening (6pm-6am) and around 40% happen during the daytime (6am-6pm).
– Just over half of burglaries from a domestic property took place whilst someone was at home.
– Small, high value items are the most targeted items during a burglary. Examples include: purses, wallets, money, jewellery, watches, and electronic goods such as smartphones, cameras and games consoles.


Northamptonshire burglaries and prevention
The findings from CSEW, which come from national data, are reflected in individual crimes which have been committed in and around Northamptonshire over the past year.

Entry
A large proportion of break ins occur through a door, and a back or side door is more likely to be targeted due to its less visible location. For example, at burglaries in Corby – where a bike and electronics were stolen – and Rushton – where car keys and the corresponding vehicle were taken – thieves broke in through the backdoor. At another burglary in Duston, thieves broke in through the conservatory whilst the owners were on holiday, and made off with over £10,000 worth of jewellery and collectable coins.

Burglary in Northamptonshire
Break-ins through back and side doors are likely due to reduced visibility.

These crimes demonstrate the importance of securing all entrances to your home. If you have a back or side door which is screened from view, consider installing CCTV or security lighting to ensure this doesn’t become an easy target. With CCTV, you can keep an eye on your property no matter where you are.

Time of crime
It is probable weekday and evening burglaries are more common due to the perception that homeowners are more likely to be away or asleep at these times, making for an easier target. This was the case at two recent burglaries in Abington and Corby, which occurred on weekdays whilst the victims were out of the house. Another incident in Kingsthorpe Hollow met many of the typical circumstances of a domestic burglary: the burglars gained entrance through a backdoor on a weekday evening and stole small valuables, including bank cards and keys.

By being aware of these typical risks, you can make sure you adequately protect your home. A fully functioning alarm system which you consistently set when you’re out of the house is a highly effective deterrent.

Victim presence
The CSEW finding that over half of burglaries occur whilst someone was home also highlights the need to not become complacent just because you are in the house. A burglary in Wellingborough occurred overnight whilst several residents were home, but asleep, and resulted in several electronic goods and money being stolen. What’s more, if the burglars are willing to use force, homeowner presence isn’t necessarily an obstacle. This was true of an evening burglary in Desborough where intruders threatened the victims with screwdrivers and stole a gun safe and a considerable amount of jewellery.

CCTV in Northampton
CCTV is a valuable asset in deterring burglars.

Having a well-guarded home is key to preventing such crimes; secure doors, CCTV and split floor alarm systems which can be set overnight can all help to avoid burglaries.

To prevent yourself becoming another burglary statistic, make sure your home is secure and well protected. Lynx Fire & Security are domestic security experts, operating throughout Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas, who can help ensure your home is as safe as possible. Our specialists can provide and install high-quality security systems – from tailored burglar alarm systems to high-tech CCTV – to deter criminals and defend your premises. With a 24 hour on call maintenance service and 12 month guarantees on all products and work, you can rest assured of the reliability of our work. Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you improve the security of your home.

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