According to the Metropolitan Police, burglary is the theft, or attempted theft, from premises where access is not authorised. Whether you own a residential estate or a commercial property you are susceptible to this type of crime.
In fact; People that don’t take precautionary security measures are much more prone to burglaries.
Burglars can create severe damage to your assets, steal your valuables and leave you with a hefty bill for repair charges.
Today, we look thoroughly into the most common types of burglary, the people who commit them and the precautions you can take to minimize the risks of falling victim to this form of crime.
Reasons for Getting Burgled
First things first, we must look at the reasons for getting burgled or why your property becomes a target for thieves.
A report from the Office for National Statistics shows that between 2016 and 2017 there have been as many as 32,000 burglaries recorded in London, out of which 20,000 were residential home invasions. With these crimes costing the Londoners over £124 million in damages per year, there has to be a trend of common weaknesses that allow for these crimes to take place.
Generally, burglars act like predators.
They identify a potential victim that displays weaknesses and profitable loot. They take advantage of security issues on your property, such as feeble locks and spots that enable easy entry. Most of these thieves also have knowledge of what your valuables are and how they would benefit them. The only aspect that differentiates them is their modus operandi.
Types of Burglars
Depending on their habits of working a theft, their goals and how they approach security systems; there are four types of burglars:
These robbers are usually beginners that have a basic knowledge of how to take apart weak locks and poor-guarded windows. They do not prey on a specific type of victim, and they will be happy to get away with whatever they can carry.
Hunter burglars are common thieves with a few years of experience under their belts. They have already developed scouting skills and take a little more time in premeditating their crimes. In terms of operation, they still approach burglaries with a smash and run strategy.
Prowlers are hunter burglars that have not only identified their next victim, but also the object of their theft. They will stalk their prey, take extensive notes about the main weakness and plan the optimal time for striking.
These burglars are not your common housebreakers. Specialised thieves usually strike on command and do not waste their time with casual valuables. Their targets are usually art objects, expensive jewellery and other highly-prized goods that they can sell on the black market.
Types of Burglaries
Depending on the area that you live in or the neighbourhood where your commercial estate operates, you can be the victim of one or all types of burglars. While specialist thieves will naturally have a higher interest in high-end properties, none of them will refrain from breaking into your property if you don’t have an enhanced system of protection. Here are the five most common types of burglary:
Also known as residential burglary, this type of theft takes place in houses and apartments that attract the interest of burglars. Thieves commonly use crowbars, lock picks, screwdrivers, and other prying devices to open already weaken locks on doors and windows.
Common thieves and hunter burglars usually attack homes where the people who live there do not take extra measures of defence. If your rental property becomes the victim of a burglary, you will not be responsible for stolen property. However, you might have the duty to enhance the security measures and replace them if they cannot be repaired. Check that with your landlord.
You can increase the protection of your home against burglaries by installing high-security locks, alarm systems and other door security devices. You can also strengthen your doors and windows security with exterior bars or gates.
For further protection cover yourself with an extended home insurance policy.
Business & Commercial Burglary
This type of theft defines the forced entry of a shop, outlet, office, warehouse or any other type of property that has a commercial role. Again, common thieves, hunter burglars, and prowlers too are type of burglars that address commercial properties. They use breaches in the security system to enter the premises and steal valuable goods. Most of the times, they force the locks on the doors and windows to ease their entry.
Prevention of business and commercial burglary involves installing exceptional security measures. High-performance alarm systems, durable locks, and sturdy gates should be at the top of your list. Talk to a professional locksmith to find out the best security upgrades if you wish to protect essential goods and assets at your commercial property.
Front Door Burglary
Experienced burglars who are well aware of your schedule and your whereabouts will try to enter your property through the front door either by kicking the door in or forcing the locks. Besides stealing your valuables, they could also cause severe damage to your entrance, and increase your damage costs.
It is difficult to put an exact price for repairing the entrance to your home after a front door burglary as the damage is different in every case. If your door and the frame has been damaged, you might need to get a new door installation which could cost between £500-1500. You are likely to spend a few thousand pounds if you’d also wish to increase your property’s security measures.
The best precautionary measures against front door burglaries include the installing of bars and gates at the exterior entrance. Additionally, you can opt for high-quality mortice deadlocks, latches, London bars and high-security locks to be fitted on your door.
Many home insurers require that you have British Standard deadlocks installed on your to provide you with cover under their policies. So always replace the standard locks that are common to most London households with BS3621 deadlocks (or other locks that are required by your insurer) to stay covered.
UPVC Doors Burglary
Nowadays, UPVC doors and windows have replaced the old wooden frameworks. While they offer better heat insulation and sound suspension, they display security weaknesses that burglars of all kinds are well aware of. Burglars are specialists at breaking them to enter both residences and commercial properties.
One of the most common ways of breaking a UPVC door is using the lock-snapping method, which is a quick and easy method of entry. To counter this strategy, you can install an anti-snap lock, which comes at an affordable price and a locksmith could easily install it for you.
Another method of breaking into homes that have UPVC doors is to use a blowtorch and expose the lock before forcing it to crack open and allow easy entry. Again, you need to install high-quality locking mechanisms to prevent thieves from successfully using this way of breaking and entering into your home.
See our locksmith services for upvc doors to keep your upvc door safe and secure.
Installing a gate does not always offer an impenetrable defence for your property. Most of the times, people fall victim to burglaries because they lock the doors and windows, but forget to lock the gates. However, if the gates are locked and installed on your door they usually does provide you with much more solid security.
Other methods thieves may use to open your gate including the use of crowbars and picking tools to break in without making too much noise. They use this method in areas that are not crowded, and usually at night. Fitting an automated security light above your gate should also help in making it less convenient for a burglar to compromise your gate.
Burglars may sometimes jump over gates to reach the front door or unsupervised windows. To prevent them from doing so, you should install a high-security gate with sharp spikes on top and heavily secured bolts and locks. Repairing or replacing a damaged gate can sometimes cost you more than a common door or a UPVC window. So invest in one that offers exceptional security, even if it comes at a relatively expensive cost.
What to do After Getting Burgled
If you have just noticed that your property has been burgled, your first step should be calling the police. The quicker that the authorities take notice of your complaint the bigger are the chances of catching the culprits. Next, you should consider your safety and identify the weaknesses that led to the burglary. If you have a video surveillance system on the premises, you should check the footage before sharing it with the authorities.
Once the on-site police investigation ends, you should take extra measures in strengthening the security of your property. It might be that the burglars did not finish their job, and they might soon come again. Also, if you are dealing with hunter thieves or prowlers, these robbers will keep scouting your estate and hit again and again if you fail to enhance your security system.
A burglary might cost you even £2,000 and £3,000 in insurance costs. You might also want to add to this figure the investment in new security locks, deadlocks, alarm systems, and other safety devices.
The burglary repair charges may also increase with paying an emergency locksmith to comes to solve your security issues. And could get especially costly if the burglary takes place in the middle of the night. Most burglaries take place at night, so if it happened to you too, you’re not alone. Most people go through shock and strong emotions when they are the victims of overnight thefts, and seek immediate safety insurance.
In this case of a midnight burglary you might need to call the locksmith to repair the damages so you can sleep in safe for the night. An additional fee might be involved as well if you call a locksmith only for the purpose of securing the property for the night and not using the same locksmith for replacing the door. So if you can try to use the same locksmith for both the burglary repair and the replacement of door when needed. Installing a new door and a new security system may take between a few hours and a couple of days depending on the damage and the new prevention measures that you opt for. If you are on a limited budget find here some of the best course of actions for protecting your home. You can also discuss these with your locksmith in private due to your specific needs.
In conclusion, your best choice to prevent common burglaries is to invest in high-performance security systems early on and be better safe than sorry. However, if you are the unfortunate target of a burglar, you should approach professional locksmiths with experience and credentials. Professional locksmiths are the best tradespersons to help you enhance the security of your property.
Do you need any help with the repair of a burglary? Would you like discuss with an expert on how to prevent from a burglary to take place at your premises? Talk to our burglary expert locksmiths at 020 8226 6866.