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The true impact of burglary

The true impact of burglary

Victims of home burglaries are so traumatised by the experience that many can no longer face living in the same place and move, latest research shows.

The results of a study by insurer Policy Expert reveal how truly devastating the psychological impact of unwanted intruders can be.

Burglary is a relatively common experience, with one-in-ten adults expected to have their homes broken into at least once, and another 3% more than once. As the latest Office for National Statistics indicate, this means that 2.7 million households will have been affected at some point.

Many can’t sleep and move home after burglary

Unfortunately, 12% of the Brits  who have gone through the ordeal can’t cope with being in the same property anymore and have moved somewhere else. Another one-in-three found it hard to sleep afterwards  and nearly one-in-ten (9%) lost confidence in themselves.

One-in-twelve (8%) were too frightened to be left alone in the home and a significant minority (3%) became ill and needed to take medication for anxiety and depression. One-in-twenty (5%) say it affected their ability to concentrate at work.

Only a lucky few, one-in-four (25%), indicate being burgled had no impact on them at all.

Although burglary can clearly have a damaging impact on people’s lives, it’s perhaps surprising that only one-in-twenty subsequently improved the security of their homes.

Householders often present during robberies

The majority of burglaries took place while those surveyed were at work (28%). But it’s extremely creepy for the one-in-five (20%) who were upstairs sleeping and the one-in-fourteen who were somewhere else within the property.

Nearly a fifth of victims were out shopping and socialising, while another one-in-seven (15%) were on holiday, Policy Expert’s research indicates. A very small number were either doing the school run (2%) or gardening (1%).

Most common ways burglars get in

The importance of keeping windows locked is, once again, driven home by the stats which reveal that the most common entry point for burglars is through a window (38%).

Next is by damaging or breaking down a door (29%), tampering with locks (13%) and via the garage (4%). For an unlucky few (1%) the burglar will already be in the home (a builder with a criminal side-line, for example)!

Five easy ways to make a home more secure

Here are five relatively simple things householders can do to improve their home’s security:

  1. Install motion sensor lighting in and around a home, especially at entrances.
  2. Get to know the neighbours.
  3. Keep gardens free of toys, tools and ladders
  4. Don’t label personal keys, or hide spares outside.
  5. Consider buying a home security system.

Policy Expert

As an online insurance broker, Policy Expert help our customers to compare insurance products and find a policy that’s right for them. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do and we have a dedicated customer service team on hand by phone, email, twitter and instant chat. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 24 October 2017