IF your property gets pinched it is unlikely that the person who did it will be nicked.
More than 1.1million cases of burglary and theft were dropped by police this year.
Here’s how to keep your home safe this year using easy hacks you can achieve on a budget – all from a former thiefCredit: Getty
But there are ways to stop yourself from being the next victim of thieves.
Lennox Rodgers knows exactly what burglars are looking for when seeking an easy target – because he used to be one.
The reformed criminal, who spent 21 years in prison, is now a security expert helping the rest of us keep our property safe.
He says of the new stats on burglaries: “It’s sending out the wrong message
t’s causing some criminals to think they’ve got free rein to steal.”
Below he shares his tips on how to prevent your home or car from being the next target.
Don’t go stashing your cash under the mattress – criminals know all the best places to search.
To hide your valuables properly when away, make use of ordinary items.
Old tins are a great place to hide cash and valuables inCredit: STERLING SECURITY PRODUCTS
There are fake cans of beans and jars of mayonnaise you can get which you can hide jewellery or cash in, and some burglars are unaware that that’s where your money is.
It looks like a jar of mayo, but actually it’s like a little piggy bank that’s been painted white.
I think it’s quite useful!
Install front gates – and hang a bell on them, or make sure they squeak.
An unexpected noise will deter a burglar and alert any dog in the neighbourhood, making sure that burglar is spooked.
Having a well-trained dog can help alert you to burglars, as their ears are very sensitive – and they can act as a deterrent.
But even if you don’t have one, there are ways of making it seem like you do.
Getting a dog, even a fake one, is a great way to deter burglarsCredit: Getty
Whether you have one or not, leave a dog bowl by the door and put a “Beware of the Dog” sign on the gate.
You could even simply play out a recording of a dog barking.
Burglars aren’t keen on lofts, as it’s too easy to get trapped up there if anyone returns to the house.
For that reason, they’re a great place to hide any valuables or cash.
They’re also the perfect place for hiding any bags or cases that burglars might use to transport any of their stolen goods if found around the house.
Bad weather is the perfect time for burglars to commit a crime, so you have to be more careful when it’s raining and windy.
People are less likely to look out when they hear noises, making excuses like, ‘It’s just the wind.’
So be more vigilant when it’s blowing a gust out there.
One of the best things to do is to have good relationships with your neighbours so you can keep an eye out for each other.
If they see anything suspicious, they could disturb a burglary and cause a burglar to flee because they think, ‘Oh, someone’s looking after this place.’
It’s always better to have more than one person ready to make sure everything’s OK.
During my criminal career, I probably only burgled two houses – and that was because of inside information I’d got, because I knew there were certain valuables and cash available in those homes.
We were organised criminals, we had balaclavas, walkie talkies, we had stun guns, handcuffs.
Be careful about the information you give out to friends and family members, as well as what you put on social mediaCredit: Getty
We made a plan to get what we wanted – and so will any burglar if there’s something they really want.
For this reason, be careful about the information you give out to friends and family members, as well as what you put on social media.
People will find out that you’re going away or if you’ve got something that’s really worth stealing.
I know that there was a group of thieves who used to go around on Boxing Day – because a lot of children used to leave bikes in their front gardens – and they would come and whip them away.
And that still happens, because people are careless.
If you leave a new electric scooter or bike in your garden, it’s likely someone will come and have that.
Burglars don’t like an occupied house, and there is tech available to make it look like you’re in the house when you’re not.
Through timers and things like Alexa, you can have lights that come on at a certain time, or get the telly to come on in the evening to make it look like you’re sitting at home watching a movie.
If you can afford it, security cameras and tech like Ring mean that you can watch what’s happening at home from your phone when you’re elsewhere.
If you see someone approaching your property or breaking in, you can get on the phone and ask a neighbour or someone else to come and inspect if the police aren’t coming.
I know many people that have had their cars stolen from their driveways while they’ve been at home.
Manufacturers have taken steps to improve security, but there are some amazing car thieves out there who are able to access your vehicle, and a steering lock is still great to have on a posh car, as well as a wheel lock.
Both will slow a thief down, as they’re going to struggle to be able to get your vehicle away quickly.
It sounds very old-fashioned, but it will certainly buy you some time to try and get the police to come.