Ex-criminals tell Co-op Insurance most thieves are opportunists who tend to avoid difficult break-ins
Burglars are most likely to be put off breaking into homes by CCTV cameras and barking dogs, according to a panel of former criminals.
Nearly half of the 12 former burglars consulted by Co-op Insurance said most thieves were opportunists wandering the streets who would avoid difficult break-ins that were likely to attract attention.
The most effective deterrents for home burglaries and car theft were CCTV cameras, the panel said.
They also named loud barking dogs, strong heavy doors, a TV being switched on and locked UPVC windows as the next most likely to put them off breaking into a home.
However, burglar alarms were only No 13 on their list of deterrents.
Criminals were also likely to be put off breaking into or stealing cars by street lighting, an alarm, and a vehicle being parked in a driveway.
In order of importance, burglars would be seeking cash, jewellery, electrical equipment such as TVs, phones and tablets, laptops and car keys, the panel said.
Co-op Insurance also surveyed 2,000 people in the UK about their home and car security. It found that 28% of adults took no measures to protect their property.
Fifty-five per cent of those polled slept with their windows open at night, 24% left their doors unlocked while at home, and 12% left their garden gates open.
A fifth of respondents said they posted photographs online showing they were on holiday, inadvertently drawing attention to their empty house.
In July, Kingston crown court heard how 400,000 of jewellery and designer goods were stolen from former England and Chelsea footballer John Terrys home after he posted a photo of his ski holiday on social media.
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