How to Deter Burglars: Security Tips from Neighbourhood Watch

If you have been unfortunate enough to have your home or car burgled, you may be curious as to why you were targeted. In hindsight, you may be wondering whether there are any additional security measures that you could have taken. As with all types of crime, prevention is much better than cure. As we return to school and our work environments, more of us are leaving our homes unoccupied once again and opportunists are ready to take advantage of this.

‘Most domestic burglaries are committed by opportunists. Opportunity plays a big role in enabling burglars to commit a crime. They look for homes that seem unoccupied, have little or no obvious security, have doors or windows left open, or where they think they won’t be seen. Taking simple measures such as locking windows, leaving indoor lights on a timer, double locking your doors and leaving exterior lights on a sensor setting can greatly reduce your chances of being burgled.’ John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network

See our top tips below to help keep your home and car safe from thieves.


Lighting has proven to be an effective tool in home security, with both motion activated lights and street lights acting as useful deterrents. Unfortunately, only 24 per cent of UK adults say that they have motion activation lights installed – which highlights a great risk. Try to evaluate the lighting in your home. Whether this means installing motion activation lights or simply leaving the TV on whilst you pop to the shops, lighting is an effective means of keeping criminals at bay.

Windows and doors

Findings show 55 per cent of people sleep with their window open at night and 24 per cent of people leave their doors unlocked whilst they are home. What’s more, 20 per cent of people say they actively share their holiday snaps on social media – displaying their unattended property to criminals. To help decrease interest from thieves, ensure your windows and doors are locked. Not to mention keeping quiet on social media while away from home.

Be smart

Smart home and car systems don’t just offer convenience for the family, they can also offer you protection against burglars. Thieves are opportunists and prefer to avoid tricky break-ins. So be smart and keep your home and car connected.


CCTV cameras are among the biggest deterrents for thieves. However, despite this, only 14 per cent of UK adults say that they have CCTV cameras installed in their home. To reduce the odds of being targeted, you should consider purchasing CCTV. What’s more, if you are targeted, you could use the CCTV to provide valuable evidence.

Attract attention

Unsurprisingly, criminals don’t like attracting unwanted attention. Thus, if you can gain attention at the point of thieves approaching your property, you are more likely to keep it safe. Man’s best friend can offer more than just companionship when it comes to protecting your property.

For further information Neighbourhood Watch has a comprehensive security checklist for burglar proofing your home which can be downloaded here.

How do you keep your property safe? Are you going to incorporate any of these tips into your home? Join the conversation over on Facebook and Twitter.

** Study of 2000 UK adults conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of Co-op Insurance