There are two different types of burglary, opportunistic and calculated.
While it is more comfortable to think that most burglaries are one-off instances that are a fluke and could happen to anyone, the truth is that some burglaries are undertaken by professionals who have purposely targeted your home. Unfortunately, this is more common than you’d think.
Last year a spate of burglaries took place in homes and gardens across Oxford, with 16 houses being targeted in the space of a single week. Anyone who has been burgled knows the feeling of terror you get when you realise someone has invaded your home and violated your security. This feeling is even worse when you consider that someone could have been watching your Oxford home, reviewing your daily activities, observing your property and carefully calculating an attack on your home.
Here we look at ways to prevent break-ins at your Oxford home and what steps to take to make it harder for criminals to burgle you.
How do Burglars Choose a Home?
Professional burglars will take the time to stake out homes for potential. They may prowl estates, work in teams and even initiate conversations with you to get a better understanding of your property and ways they can exploit any weaknesses. Don’t forget – burglary is their income, their job, and they will be as skilful and sly as they need to get the job done.
While opportunistic burglars are likely to be impulsive and careless, professional burglars are calculated and patient. They will assess many factors when deciding which home to break into, how they will do it and when.
The only way to prevent break-ins in your home is to understand how burglars decide to choose a home, and how you can minimise the risk.
Signs to Watch Out For
Many people think ‘burglar marks’ are a myth, but burglars have been known to use certain marks on houses they think have potential for robbery. This can be to identify a property for later or even to signal to criminal accomplices.
Burglar marks can range from forms of graffiti, dots, lines, random numbers or letters, to string or cloth being tired around a fence or lamppost. Different marks mean different things, including ‘vulnerable’, ‘valuable’ and ‘risky’.
Organised burglary can have a vast array of meaningful marks and it is impossible to know if a new mark on your house is sinister or not. Being vigilant and reporting any suspicious marks on or around your home to 101 is the first step to prevent break-ins in your Oxford home.
Useful Links & Resources:
- Take a look at Neighbourhood Alerts in Oxford
- Read more about the latest crime reports for your area in Oxford
- Report a crime to the Thames Valley Police
Protect Your Home When it’s Empty
Burglars know that most properties will be empty during working hours and will assume you aren’t home for a reasonable amount of time in the day. It’s also likely your neighbours and family members won’t be home around this time either, which gives thieves several hours to navigate your property undisturbed.
A professional burglar can spend days or weeks observing your Oxford home to establish your daily patterns before deciding when to strike. The more time they have to scope out your home the more weaknesses they will find in its defence, and the more time they have to come up with solutions for undermining your protection.
The only way to prevent break-ins at your home is to stop them from ever considering it a target. Investing in an up-to-date burglar alarm, a CCTV installation and intruder lighting is the best way to put off any potential burglars from robbing your home.
Don’t Let Burglars Window Shop
Leaving curtains or blinds open during the day allows criminals to look into your property and get an idea of how valuable its contents are. It’s not just burglars you need to worry about, many people will take any opportunity to snatch and grab items of value, so making sure your portable valuables aren’t on display is crucial.
This is more important on hot summer days when people leave their windows and doors wide open for ventilation. An iPad or phone left on a window sill can be taken by a delivery man or passerby without you even noticing.
In short, don’t advertise your valuables to anyone, even your neighbours. Invest in curtains and blinds that still allow ventilation and sunlight when drawn and this will prevent break-ins.
Burglars Can Come Back
If a burglar found your home security weak and was able to break into your home easily, there’s a good chance they will try again. They already know your routines, your work pattern and the weak points in your home. You’ll have replaced your stolen valuables, possibly even upgraded them at a bigger cost, and may find yourself a target once again.
If you have been burgled in the recent past and haven’t updated your home security since you could well still be on someone’s burgle list. Taking home security seriously and making your home a difficult target for robbery is the only certain way you can prevent break-ins in your Oxford home.
Getting a reliable company to install and maintain security equipment is the wisest investment you can make for home security.
Burglary Prevention with Matrix Fire & Security
At Matrix Fire and Security we install, monitor and maintain all types of security systems that can prevent break-ins. From stand-alone coded keypads and CCTV systems, to fully integrated multi-network services, we can provide a system tailored to protect your Oxford home from burglary.