Careless Scots are leaving their homes exposed as burglary season arrives, according to a new survey.
15% of householders in Scotland admit to not checking their doors and windows are secured before leaving the house, while more than half (55%) fail to check their sheds or garages are locked.
As the daylight fades and nights grow longer, almost a third of Scots (30%) admit to merely closing the door behind them on their way out and say they spend no time securing their homes before leaving.
It’s estimated that burglaries increase by up to 20% when the clocks change as criminals take advantage of the darker evenings. Figures show 60% of burglaries take place during the evening or night time, with most taking place between 4pm and 7pm, and a 63% increase in burglaries during the winter months with specifically a 26% increase between Halloween and Bonfire Night.
The survey of 2,000 UK homeowners, commissioned by locks and glazing specialist, Evander, also found that over 1 in 4 (26%) people don’t have a watchful neighbour keeping an eye on their property.
The tradition of keeping a spare key with the neighbour in case of emergencies also appears to be in decline, with only 29% opting to do so. Glasgow residents are the most reluctant to trust neighbours with a house key, with 76% preferring to keep to themselves, while Edinburgh residents are the most trusting, with, with more than a third (36%) choosing to leave a key.
However, Edinburgh also gets top marks for carelessness according the survey, with 1 in 10 Edinburgh residents having returned home to find a door or window open or unlocked.
Alex Kilpatrick, Evander’s home security expert, comments: “As the nights draw in, crime statistics show that domestic burglary rates rocket, and our research shows that Scottish householders are unfortunately leaving their properties vulnerable to break-ins.
“With the average cost of a winter burglary standing at £2,623, it really does pay to take a few moments to double check you’ve secured your home properly before leaving the house.”
For more information on securing your home this winter call Police Scotland on 101