Norwich Union has enlisted the help of an ex-burglar to promote security measures as Britons fear for their homes in the credit crunch.
Bob Turney, an ex-burglar turned security expert and author, is involved in Norwich Union’s ‘Safer Street’ campaign.
"We're not talking about turning homes into fortresses, just simple steps that will make a criminal think again before they target you," he says.
Partnering with Norfolk Police, Norwich Union’s campaign is a home security experiment on a typical UK street. Over the past three months, a row of Norfolk terraces have undergone a crime reduction makeover in a bid to educate homeowners on simple steps they can take to reduce the risk of being burgled.
Norwich Union says one in three people fear their home is more vulnerable as a direct result of the credit crunch, while another third say they will feel more at risk when the clocks go back.
However, 20% do not lock their doors and windows at night, more than 13% admit to leaving windows open when they go out, while 27% do not think about home security at all.
Simon Warson, director of home pricing at Norwich Union, says: “Of course insurance is there to help when you are unfortunate enough to become a victim of crime, but no one wants to be burgled in the first place and the more we can all do to help protect our homes and our belongings the better.”
Research found burglary claims increase by 5% after the clocks go back, with the average cost of a burglary standing at £1,000.
It also revealed, while 13% of people wish they knew their neighbours better to feel safer, one in ten leave home and car keys visible on a hook near their front door and 7% have a spare key outside their front door.
According to inspector Russ Wilkinson of Norfolk police, 80% of house crime is carried out by opportunist burglars.
"You can put the best security measures in the world into a house, but what you also need is the homeowners, their neighbours and the wider community to work together, look out for each other and look after their properties."
More information on the project is available at: www.norwichunion.com/saferstreet, including a video of Turney’s home security assessment and advice.IFAonline
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