Norwich Union: £750m-worth of keys for burglars this summer

15 June 2006
According to findings from insurance group Norwich Union, burglars in Britain could cash-in on a spate of lethargy over house keys, meaning a £750 million bonus for thieves this summer.

When the weather improves and doors and windows are left open because of the heat, opportunist burglars can take advantage of indolently-placed sets of keys for a windfall season at law-abiding citizens' expense.

The Cash for Keys Report from Norwich Union Insurance reveals that four in five Brits have up to five sets of keys in their home and half (50 per cent) of those people keep the keys all in one place.

One in eight homes (12 per cent) also make burglars' lives much easier by labelling keys; a third give neighbours keys to their home, enabling multiple hits on one street; and nearly a quarter (22 per cent) have given keys to workmen and never received them back, the survey shows.

"The research findings have highlighted some pitfalls in home security allowing thieves to cash in on a jackpot of keys, that literally open the doors to cars, motorbikes, garages, safety deposit boxes and neighbours houses," said Paul Redington, claims manager from Norwich Union.

Mr Redington offered some sage advice for the summer season to avoid being burgled, in addition to urging people to ensure their home contents insurance is up to date.

"Homeowners should ensure all windows are shut whenever they leave their house," he continued.

"When on holiday, the house should be left secure and we would advise limiting the number of people who know your home will be left empty for this period of time. Most importantly, lock car and spare keys in a secure place during your holiday."

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