Saga works with the Home Office to produce a free home security guide
In a third of all burglaries, the thief got in through an open or unlocked door or window
Over 90% of recovered stolen property is unmarked and remains unclaimed
For a free copy of the Guide or for information on Saga Home Insurance call 0808 101 5100 or visit saga.co.uk
Saga Home Insurance today revealed that over 90% of stolen property recovered by the police cannot be identified and remains unclaimed by its owners because people are still not following basic security advice and marking their possessions. Every year, items worth hundreds of thousands of pounds are found, including many items of jewellery which hold sentimental value to its owners and are often considered to be irreplaceable.
Saga Home Insurance has been working closely with the Home Office, in support of its Keep Crime Down campaign, to produce a Home Security Guide aimed to help safeguard people's property within the home and garden. The Guide gives advice on security marking valuable items and covers how to deal with bogus callers and protecting yourself against identity theft. For anyone unsure how secure their home is, a checklist is included to help people identify areas of vulnerability.
Graeme Gerrard, the Association of Chief Police Officers lead on burglary and Deputy Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary comments: "ACPO fully supports this Security Guide from the Home Office and Saga. Taking basic crime prevention measures can greatly reduce the likelihood of people becoming victims of burglary. Marking your valuable property and ensuring that doors and windows are kept locked may sound obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people fail to take even these simple measures."
Recent Home Office statistics show that 2.7% of households in England and Wales have experienced at least one domestic burglary in the previous 12 months, and households with only minimal security are over 15 times more likely to be burgled than those with high levels of security. If your home looks unoccupied, has no obvious security or is obscured from view, it presents an easy target for a spur-of-the-moment thief. 63% of burglars target doors as a means of entry and in around one third of burglaries, no force was necessary as the thief got in through an open or unlocked door or window.
Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive, Saga, commented: "Saga is supporting this initiative not only to reduce crime, but to reduce the fear of crime, so that people feel safer within their communities. The guide gives straightforward advice on home security, security marking their property and how to protect themselves against identity theft."
Saga offers advice on security marking your property:
- Write down the serial numbers of your TV, video, DVD, home computer and camera equipment. (A separate page is included in the Guide to record your valuable property.)
- Don't forget garden equipment. You might want to mark the lawnmower, gardening equipment, power tools and outdoor furniture.
- Items can be marked using a chemical or microdot based marker, etching tool or an ultra-violet marking pen. The mark should show your postcode and either the number of your house or flat, or the first two letters of its name.
- Easy-to-use kits are available from stationers and DIY stores. Ceramic non-scratch marking pens are available for china, glass or any glazed surface.
- Marking items like jewellery or antiques is difficult and could reduce their value, but keep a photographic or video record, preferably in colour, paying attention to any maker's marks (often found on the base of ornaments), initials or crests to help with identification.
- Take a photograph of possessions against a plain background and include a ruler to give an idea of size.
For a free copy of the Home Security Guide or to find out more about Saga Home Insurance please call 0808 101 5100 or visit saga.co.uk/finance/household
All statistics taken from the 2004/05 British Crime Survey (BCS).
For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.