Homeowners' lax attitude to home security could be helping make British burglary rates the highest in Europe, a new study commissioned by Halifax Home Insurance has suggested.
Criminologist Martin Gill interviewed burglars across the UK and found startling evidence that opportunistic thieves find the job is made easier for them by homeowners failing to take basic safety measures.
Burglar alarms are often left inactivated, the survey showed, confirming Halifax's finding that 34 per cent of people with an alarm in their home often omitted to turn it on.
Doors and windows were too often left unlocked, as Halifax confirmed, finding that six per cent of people leave their catches undone while they step out briefly while 37 per cent leave doors and windows unlocked while they are indoors.
"It's little wonder that Britain is the poor man of Europe when it comes to burglary rates, given the startling ease with which thieves told us they can get into our homes," remarked Professor Gill.
Home insurers recommend that homeowners get full cover, as well as taking measures to protect their home such as getting security lights and suspending delivery of milk and newspapers while they are away.
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