West Sussex based company reveals home most at risk from thieves

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A traditional three bedroom, semi-detached home is most at risk from the threat of thieves – new research from West Sussex based MORE TH>N Insurance has revealed.

It’s one of the most upsetting experiences a person can go through: walking into your home to find that you have been burgled and your possessions taken.

You would expect that the bigger the home, the higher the risk of burglary. But actually the most likely home to plunder is not a grand mansion or country pile, but a three-bedroom, semi-detached property situated in an urban location with neighbours either side that are less than 11 metres away.

This surprising finding is just one of a number revealed today in new research from MORE TH>N Insurance. As well as highlighting the most typical home that is at risk from thieves, the research also shows the distinct lack of security properties have in place to deter burglars.

The research, conducted amongst 3,000 people who have been burgled in the past and using information from 32 police forces, found those living in a semi-detached home are almost twice as likely (38%) to be broken into than any other type of property.

The Goldilocks House For Thieves: The Most Likely Home To Be Burgled In The UK

· A semi-detached (38%) bricked (51%) house

· Occupied by a family with young children (34%)

· The house has three bedrooms (46%), one reception room (52%) and one bathroom (63%)

· Situated in an urban location (59%)

· Nearest unattached neighbours 11 metres away (61%)

· A garden is located at the back of the house (82%), approximately 160 square metres and surrounded by fencing (66%)

· There is no garage (63%) at the property but there is one car sitting on the drive (32%)

· Worth approximately £180,000

Matt Poll of MORE TH>N Insurance commented: “The research shows that there’s a worrying pattern to the type of homes targeted by burglars in the UK, with families most at risk. Add to this the poor level of security measures put in place by most homeowners and it’s a potential recipe for disaster, especially around Christmas – where we see an increase in claims related to break-ins.”

Looking at what is stolen from homes, it appears thieves have expensive tastes, with electronics (87%), cash (54%) and jewellery (53%) being the top items most likely to find their way into swag bags. Perhaps most alarming, 14% have had personal items such as passports and bank statements taken, leaving them exposed to fraudsters.

Due to these high value objects, on average, items totaling £2,114 are taken from homes in a single burglary. According to official Government data which reveals there were 459,796 recorded residential burglaries in 2013 alone, equating to one in 50 households[3], the value of stolen items to Brits is £972m each year.

It appears that people are still not doing enough to prevent break-ins. MORE TH>N’s research found that three quarters (75%) of people who had their property broken in to did not have a burglar alarm fitted at the time of the burglary, 72% did not have a single security light, 40% did not have double glazing fitted and one in ten (12%) had no extra safety measures whatsoever.

Matt Poll continued: “Even simple precautionary – and cost-effective – steps such as leaving a room light on or setting a timer when out, cancelling milk or newspaper deliveries when away and ensuring Christmas presents are out of sight from passers-by can help as a deterrent to burglars. If the worst does happen however, MORE TH>N offers up to an additional £7,500 contents cover in December.”

In advance of the festivities MORE TH>N Insurance has provided some top tips on how to keep your home safe this Christmas:

· Keep keys out of sight and don’t leave them spare key in window or door locks. And don’t hide a spare key outside - burglars know where to look;

· Check that all windows and doors are locked before going to bed, leaving home, or spending time in your garden. Ensure all windows are fitted with key-operated window locks, and external doors have locks conforming to British Standard 3621:2007 + A2:2012;

· Keep your valuables in a safe place and out of sight and hide expensive equipment, such as mobile phones and laptops, from view;

· Take photos of your valuables and security mark them with your post code and house number. This can help deter thieves and can help the police to recover stolen items; and

· iscarded boxes can act as an advertisement to burglars. When it comes to disposing of unwanted boxes that your gifts are packaged in, then do take advantage of your recycling collection and breakdown the boxes as small as you can so it’s less obvious. Most recycling collections will be staggered over Christmas so if you do have space, then store the broken down boxes inside until your allotted festive collection date.