This is the first in a series of posts where Select Security presents the findings from the 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) on the possession of home security devices and the relationship with burglary victimisation. This series of posts examines security-conscious behaviour related to domestic burglaries such as improvements to home security and property marking.
 
The most common home security devices present in households in England and Wales were window locks and double locks or deadlocks. Eighty-three per cent of households had double locks or deadlocks on at least some of their outside doors and 88% had locks on their windows. In combination these two devices have been considered to provide at least ‘basic’ security and 3- in-4 households had this level of home security.
 
There has been an increased uptake in security measures over time. For example, the proportions of households with double locks or window locks have gone up from 70% and 68% respectively in 1995 to 83% and 88% respectively in 2012/13. Around one-quarter (27%) of respondents who had made security improvements in the previous 12 months said that this had been done as part of general improvements to the property. However, there continues to be some variation in the uptake of such security measures, with generally those households at greatest risk of being a victim of burglary having the lowest levels of uptake, for example, student households and households in rented accommodation.
 
The relationship between security and risk of burglary is complex. Households with none of the security measures asked about had around twice the burglary victimisation rate (5%) of those with at least ‘basic security’ (2%).
 
Multivariate analyses confirmed that no single one of the security devices asked about lowered the risk of victimisation. However, the combination of window locks and double locks or deadlocks (‘basic’ security) was associated with a significantly lower risk of being a victim of burglary. Despite some fluctuations from year to year, the latest annual estimates indicate that the underlying trend in domestic burglary has remained fairly flat in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) since the 2004/05 survey (Figure 3.1).
 
Prior to this, there were notable declines in burglary. Estimates from the 2012/13 CSEW are around one-third of the level of (63% lower than) the 1995 survey when the overall level of crime peaked (although the peak level of CSEW burglary was in 1993, slightly before the main crime peak). This reduction in volume of incidents is reflected in the percentage of households that had been victims of burglary in the last year, with around 2 in 100 households being victims in the 2012/13 survey compared with around 6 in 100 households in the 1995 survey. Households are thus now around a third as likely to be a victim of burglary as in 1995, see Crime in England and Wales, Year ending March 2013. However, the main driver for the large fall in the estimated number of incidents has been a reduction in the level of repeat incidents (see section on repeat victimisation).
 
Source: The source for this series of posts is the Office for National Statistics publication, Crime Statistics, Focus on Property Crime, 2012/13, Chapter 3 – Burglary and Home Security.
 
Part 2 of this series will be released shortly and will focus on Home Security….Select Security specialise in residential security solutions. and can advise on and provide a wide range of security services and products. For more information, please get in touch and we’ll be pleased to assist you…