Return of Burglaries Predicted: Why you need a Residential Security Team
Lockdown has been a challenging time for most of us however if one positive has been drawn out of it it’s the welcome decline in burglaries. With the majority of the population staying at home, burglars have struggled to find empty properties. However, with lockdown restrictions easing the likelihood of homes being left vacant increases and some sources predict an upsurge in burglaries as the burglars seek to recoup their losses.
Before the pandemic struck, the Daily Telegraph published figures depicting the density of reported thefts by area; the City of London came top with a figure of 169 per square kilometre. Other key boroughs of note were; Westminster (113.6); Kensington and Chelsea (94.6), and Hammersmith and Fulham(61.9). All of these areas are commonly known for their affluence and accommodate many well-known celebrities.
Whilst many of us have spent the lockdown period working from home, it would be naïve to think that the criminals haven’t been doing the same. Organised criminals will typically study homes listed on property websites, and with the help of Google Earth and Street View, glean valuable information without needing to be anywhere near the property itself – and no doubt they’ll be selecting the homes of the wealthy. A press report from December 2019, stated:
“Burglars, who it is believed, gained access to the property via the back garden, stole £50 million worth of jewellery from the London home of Tamara Ecclestone. They evaded detection from the 24-hour security on a street dubbed ‘billionaire’s row’ in Kensington, after the heiress left England to spend the Christmas period abroad.”
A subsequent investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad led to the arrest of a team of burglars. However, more alarmingly in January2020 four Chilean nationals were jailed after the following incident:
“Celebrity chef Marcus Wareing was targeted by a criminal gang, who flew in from South America, to raid his Wimbledon home while he and his wife were away. Known as ‘burglary tourism’, foreign criminals fly in to target luxury homes. The gangs are well organised and work in teams, utilising the internet to source information.”
The arrests came after the Metropolitan police said they had dismantled a criminal gang that was recruiting Chileans to come to the UK to carry out high-value burglaries. Reportedly, homes in the affluent areas of London were ‘pre-selected’ as targets, with the burglars given instructions on how to defeat alarms, where to enter properties, and even which valuables to hunt for.
That said, below is a short list of information potential thieves will need to acquire, by taking a closer look at a targeted property, as a prerequisite to a break in:
- What times of day and night there are people inside the property?
- Whether there is a dog in the home?
- Whether the property has an alarm system or CCTV cameras?
- Whether there are doors and windows that could facilitate easy-access/entry points?
- Whether there is an overt security presence in the area?
- Proximity to a police station or the frequency of police patrols in your area?
Furthermore, it appears that reliance in the police is dwindling. A recent survey has revealed that public disillusion in the police has reached a record high with many disappointed that they never see a police officer in their neighbourhood. This comes after a string of recurring statements from police chiefs claiming that police officers may no longer attend to burglaries as they were low on their priorities. Moreover, many victims have stopped reporting crimes because they have little faith in the perpetrators ever being brought to justice. Consequently, when it comes to protection of your property it seems you’re on your own.
Consider the following simple measures to improve the security posture of your property:
- At the rear and sides, taller fencing is recommended to prevent easy access.
- Trellis, thorny plants, or a suitable anti-climb topping make it difficult for anyone climbing over a fence or gate.
- Planting prickly or barbed shrubbery along boundaries and fence lines acts as an effective natural barrier.
- Passive Infra-red (PIR) activated lighting and/or Infra-Red (IR) CCTV capability.
In simple terms, criminals will always look to exploit the weakest link. Think like a burglar and walk around your property looking for the ‘gaps in your security’. Ideally this should be done by a competent security company such as Intrepid Protection who have the required expertise to conduct a thorough Vulnerability Assessment.
Social media is arguably the biggest enemy of celebrities. You should be very cautious when posting on social media; consider waiting until after a holiday to post pictures, and if your home is left empty don’t ‘check in’ at hotels or airports. If this is not practicable then you should consider utilising the services of a ‘Residential Security Team’.
Alternatively, if your profile requires a more low-key, unobtrusive security presence then ‘Protective Surveillance’ could be the preferred option.
If you are still unsure which solution most suits your needs please do not hesitate to contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org