WHEN?: Most dwelling burglaries occur during the day, when the house is unoccupied. At night burglars tend to target sheds, garages and commercial premises.

The exception is during the winter months when it gets dark early and people haven't got home from work.An unlit house is a really good signal to a burglar. It is great crime prevention to leave lights on (or on a timer) if you are not going to be home until after dark. Just ensure that you light up the LIVING areas, not just the hall and landing!!

The burglar will be looking for cash and jewellery, but he (or she) may also steal small ornaments, cameras, CD players, or your video recorder. Some specialise in electrical goods, others prefer silverware of porcelain and there are those who will actually clear a house of furniture, antiques or paintings.

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Part One - Know the Risk

WHO?: The main criminal threat to your home comes from the opportunist burglar. Don't make the mistake of believing that "Opportunist" = "Amateur". These burglars can be very experienced and adept at avoiding detection or capture.

However, as the name suggests, they look for opportunities to burgle and if there are none, they will usually move on to a less aware target. Therefore if you have good home security then they are very easily put off.


HOW?: Burglars look for a house that appears to be unoccupied. Often they will target houses situated at the end of a village, the end of a street or by a junction. Having selected the target they will usually knock at the front door - just to make sure. If you answer, they have a plausible reasons for being there.

Having had no reply, the burglar will move around the outside of the house, looking at your home security - looking for signs of window locks, burglar alarms and dogs. Once confident that your security is poor, he will find an implement nearby and use it to force a rear door, window or sliding patio door.

Once inside, the main target will probably be the master bedroom. It will be subjected to an untidy search of all the drawers and the bottom of the wardrobe.


This guide cannot guarantee that you will not be a victim of crime. However, there are steps that you can take to deter burglars and minimize the risk. One of the most important weapons in your arsenal is TIME! If you buy yourself some time, it will take the burglar longer to break in. The longer it takes, the more chance there is that he will give up.

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