The Ajax alarm is the ultimate burglar alarm system that provides safety and security to all businesses and homes. From installation and repairs to system upgrades, we at Countrywide focus on both commercial and domestic properties looking to advance their current alarm system, by implementing the high-quality Ajax smart alarm.
With both indoor and outdoor wireless security detectors available, the Ajax alarm system can identify potential threats and will raise the alarm instantly. As an authorised SSAIB-certified security company and a 9.9 trusted Checkatrade tradesperson, we guarantee the highest-quality service and experience only found at Countrywide Security. Whether you’re curious about repairs or installation, our qualified engineers can fit any Ajax alarm device available.
We have created this guide to help homeowners find their ideal smart alarm and which device is best suited to their property.
Ajax Main Control Panel
The Ajax main control panel is one of the most efficient system control hubs ever created. The device has a processor that can manage data at speeds of up to four times faster than other smart alarms and runs on OS Malevich – a real-time operating system developed by Ajax Systems. As it is one of the most efficient system control hubs, it has many benefits as well.
With the OS installed, it is extremely durable and protected against cyberattacks and viruses because of the modular architecture. The control panel also has photo sequence detection. This means if the alarm is activated, within 9 seconds, a sequence of photo verification will come through to assess the situation.
Lastly, the Ajax Hub control panel is the perfect solution for implementing stronger security within your environment while also providing convenience. It features an array of impressive functions, like activating smoke detectors in case of intrusion or cutting power supply if there’s a fire or water leak – ensuring that you have top-of-the-line protection against any potential threats and disasters.
Ajax Motion Cam
The Ajax motion cam is an impressive motion detector with a photo verification system. The Ajax wireless motion cam provides you with privacy, peace of mind and security. Thanks to its advanced thermal optics lens, the Ajax Motion Cam stands out from other top-ranked motion detectors and ensures unparalleled detection accuracy. With the accuracy of the Fresnel lens, it provides users with the most accurate thermal imaging in a motion detector, filtering out false alarms from pets.
With the camera’s software, body temperature and heat-spot size differences can be precisely calibrated according to movement speed. For added convenience, all these settings are accessible through the Ajax app.
The motion cam provides the user with a series of photos upon motion detection, which will be sent to your phone instantly to capture any evidence. The photo verification system also decreases the number of false alarms and provides you with greater security and visual information on the situation as it unfolds.
Ajax Door Contacts
The Ajax door contact is a wireless detector which notifies you at the first signs of intrusion in the room. The device consists of two modules, a magnet and a detector. Working in perfect unison together to sense when you open your door or window, it can send that information wirelessly through the high-end reed switches, transmitting the signal straight to your control hub.
Installation of the door contacts is a breeze and requires minimal effort once installed by a professional such as Countrywide. On top of this, you won’t have to worry about frequent battery replacements, as they can last up to 7 years.
Ajax Break Glass Detectors
Protect your windows and stay in the loop with the glass protection detectors from Ajax. The detector is installed with a battery that can last up to 7 years. Instantly connect to the control hub with a click with the Ajax advanced glass detectors. Mounting onto a SmartBracket also only takes minutes – effortless and efficient.
The sensor can also detect broken glass through an electret microphone, displaying the sound of impact against the glass and of the glass falling.
Ajax Smart Alarm Installation
To see more products, head over to our main smart alarm page.
At Countrywide, we are enthusiastic about safety and security. We specialise in Ajax smart alarm systems, CCTV Security Systems and supplying residential and commercial security systems across Birmingham and the surrounding areas. For every intruder burglar alarm, access control system, CCTV and fire alarm we install, we provide maintenance and upkeep services where necessary.
We are SSAIB-certified, Checkatrade and Police approved, so you can rest assured that you will receive high-quality installations and systems at a reasonable price from Countrywide.
Contact us on 0121 386 2639 or email us at [email protected] for more information. We are always more than happy to help
The burglary statistics within the UK have reached a new high, amounting to more than 267,000 burglaries in 2021 alone, averaging a burglary occurrence every 106 seconds, and an average stolen value of £2,856. The figures began to rise since the pandemic, as people began to invest more into their properties and home entertainment, with an average annual increase predicted to be 24%.
This becomes worse during the Christmas period, as people begin to fill their houses with presents, providing burglars with even more incentive. There has been an average 11% spike in burglaries during the last 3 months of the year over the last decade, with 84% of these cases going unsolved. With this in mind, we have created this blog in order to inform you on the best practices for preventing house burglary during Christmas time, so that you may have better peace of mind regarding the security and safety of yourselves and your family.
Best Ways to Protect Your Property over Christmas:
1. Check your doors, windows, and locks
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that doors, windows, and online data are the top three ways burglars gain access to private properties. With this in mind, it’s integral that these entry points are bolstered, and don’t have any weak points. Double-locking doors, replacing the faulty locks on windows, and making sure you don’t hide a spare key in obvious spots are some of the best ways of solving this. Take it a step further, and install a burglar alarm system that connects to both your doors and your windows – that way, even if you’re not home, you have a monitored system that can alert you and the police of any intrusion.
Ajax Alarm systems are some of the most highly revered smart home security systems available on the market right now, with instant mobile notifications, externally operated motion cameras, and systems that can monitor both your electricity and water levels all in one.
2. Don’t advertise gifts on social media
In the modern era, it can be tempting to show friends, family and followers the amazing things that you received over Christmas. However, unassumingly, many burglars are now aware of this, and turn to social media as a means of scouting for potential targets. You posting your property and your new valuable items simply serve as an advertisement for the value that a burglar may have access to, and the routes in which they can take to obtain it. Setting your accounts to private are the best means of preventing exploitation.
3. Install CCTV, motion sensors, or visible deterrents
According to one study, all crimes are reduced by a minimum of 13% in places with CCTV, when compared to places without it. Burglars suggest that CCTV serves as an incredible deterrent, as those with it have more opportunity of identifying the intruder. If nothing else, homeowners can use the footage that they capture using CCTV as evidence when trying to claim the stolen value back on insurance. Finally, CCTVs are beneficial for homeowners, as they provide peace of mind when a homeowner is absent from their property, as most smart home security systems can be operated remotely, with users getting notified if a person is spotted.
4. Review your current home insurance
If you are certain that you will be buying and storing valuable gifts ahead of Christmas, then why risk your things to get stolen? The statistics suggest that the Christmas period is one of the most volatile for instances of burglary.
Countrywide instead suggests practicing proactive preparation, such as opting for insurance. In doing so, you are able to claim all of the damages you may have otherwise lost in the worst-case scenario. The small cost of insurance far outweighs the possible loss of £2,856 or more. Make sure that you check the terms and conditions for what is covered under your insurance though, as some do not claim liability within their terms and conditions.
5. Dispose of Christmas wrapping and packaging
Much like advertising your gifts on social media, opportunists will also take visual cues from both in and around your property. Be careful of Christmas wrapping, as this is one of the most obvious hints at the value in your house. This includes the paper, and any boxes that may be revealing expensive products such as electricals and big TVs. We suggest that it is best to instead break up your packaging, and to put it inside your recycling bin, out of sight. You should also avoid leaving presents in the car, and in plain sight, such as under the tree in your front room.
Home Security Solutions with Countrywide UK
If you are looking to improve the safety and security of your property this Christmas, then Countrywide have you covered. From concept, to installation, to maintenance services, we are the leaders of smart alarm systems and offer premium CCTV installation services for both commercial and residential properties. Countrywide is a family business that always seeks to provide a personalised service, high level of consumer care and high quality products – all at a reasonable price.
Partner with someone you can trust. We are SSAIB, Checkatrade and police approved, providing thousands of successful and reliable security systems. If you would like to learn more about how we can provide you or your family with leading home security solutions, like the revolutionary Ajax wireless alarm system, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our team would love to hear from you and would be more than happy to help.
Crime continues to worsen throughout the UK. In the years 2020 and 2021, there were over 267,000 reported cases of burglary. Events such as the national lockdown and restrictions on social contact improved burglary statistics in the short term. However, since the termination of these events, crime rates have begun to rise once again, increasing week by week – by March 2022, figures had increased by 16%.
The purpose of this blog is to highlight the current state of burglary throughout the West Midlands, exploring both the causes and solutions in residential and commercial contexts, so that you feel safer and better equipped to level up your smart home security systems.
Burglary in the West Midlands:
Burglar alarms Birmingham:
Of all cities across the West Midlands, Birmingham is the most dangerous. It has even claimed the title of the second most dangerous city in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland collectively. The overall crime rate in Birmingham is 137 crimes per every 1000 people. This has increased dramatically from 2016 figures, when there were only 78 reported crimes per 1000 people.
Burglar alarms Sutton Coldfield
Despite hailing the title as ‘’the safest major town in the West Midlands’’, Sutton Coldfield was the worst major town in the West Midlands for robbery, with 16 robbery crimes reported per 1000 inhabitants, and shoplifting rates of 76 crimes per 1000 residents. Although on the surface, this doesn’t seem significant compared to Birmingham figures, the crime rate has continued to increase in Sutton Coldfield – rising from 38 reported crimes per 1000 residents in 2016 to 62 crimes per 1000 residents in 2021, almost doubling in occurrences.
Burglar alarms Dudley
Dudley is the third most dangerous major town in the West Midlands. The overall crime rate in Dudley for 2021 was 131 crimes per 1000 people. This is a steep development, considering the crime rate in Dudley was 73 instances per 1000 people in 2016, once again almost doubling its figures. December 2021 was a particularly bad month for Dudley residents, as 64 crimes were reported per 1000 residents – in one month alone!
Burglar alarms Walsall
Walsall has the reputation of being the second most dangerous town in the West Midlands. The current crime rate in Walsall was 143 crimes per 1000 people in 2021. This highly contrasts with the crime rate of 88 reports per 1000 people in 2016. To put these figures into context, try and imagine that Walsall’s crime rate is currently 38% higher than that of the West Midlands as a whole, and 47% higher than the national crime rate.
Causes of residential robbery:
The main reason for the increasing burglary statistics is that, despite people spending more on their homes and home entertainment facilities since the pandemic, 28 % of UK adults say they don’t take any precautions around the home. Only 14 % of adults in the UK say they’ve installed CCTV cameras, even though 55% sleep with their windows open at night, 24% leave their doors open whilst at home, and 12% have admitted to leaving their garden gates open.
5 Solutions for residential security:
Decorating and improving your home may sound infinitely more fun than setting up proper security measures. That being said, burglars strike every 30 seconds, making your home security a top priority in these trying times. To help you get back to the fun stuff, below are some things you should do right away to better secure your home.
Secure the doors
34% of burglars come in through your front door, which is why this should be one of your first priorities. Make sure that your door frames are strong, the hinges are protected, and – if your door has a letter box, make sure that someone can’t reach through it to unlock your door. If you’ve recently moved house, then change the locks, so that previous owners do not have a set of keys for your house.
Lock your windows
Windows are another common entry point for criminals, and are often left shut but unlocked. Furthermore, manufacturer latches on windows are not always the most effective. Installing aftermarket window locks, reinforcing glass with window security film, window bars, or planting prickly bushes under first-floor windows are all strong means of bolstering your window security.
Don’t forget your garage
The garage is another entry point into your home that is gaining popularity amongst criminals. Even if they can’t access your house, you’ll likely have plenty of valuables hidden in your garage. Make sure to assess the security standards of your garage, ensuring you lock all doors, both interior, and exterior. If you have a more advanced garage, take care not to enter the security code in front of anybody, especially delivery people and neighbors.
Add security cameras
CCTV camera installations serve as both a deterrent and a means of getting justice. Security cameras are a huge deterrent for burglars, as anything they do, down to the way they walk, what they wear, and how they look, can be captured and used as evidence against them. Nowadays, home security systems are more flexible, and can be upgraded to either work on their own or as part of a smart home security system.
Lock down your Wi-Fi
One of the most overlooked security measures of the 21st century is home Wi-Fi. Humans are becoming consistently more involved with technology as time progresses, which is resulting in more and more information being shared over the internet. What many people are unaware of, is that your home wireless network is a doorway to your personal and financial information. If you use home automation, this may even leave you vulnerable to a break-in. Make sure you secure your wireless router, enable Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), install antivirus and anti-malware protection, and create strong passwords to bolster your resistance against this.
Causes of commercial crimes:
Although many people are aware of residential burglaries, many fail to consider the possibility of someone burgling their business. A total of 606,282 crimes were committed against businesses in the UK throughout 2021.
The majority are caused by the business owner failing to pay attention to detail. Many businesses keep large sums of cash in their registers, take deposits to their car, and drive the same route to the bank every day. This is far too predictable, making you an easy victim. Many burglars are aware of when there are fewer employees on shift, meaning fewer witnesses, and decide to strike when you are unlikely to be manning the front of the shop – making it an easy walk-in, walk-out situation. Many employees are not given training and are not even screened properly before they are hired! A lack of preventative measures on your building itself is another major cause, whether it be a lack of exterior lighting, a lack of visibility through windows, or poor door and window locking systems.
5 Solutions for commercial security:
No matter the industry your business is in, it is critical for all businesses to keep their access limited. Preventing the general public from accessing exclusive areas or ensuring only office staff can enter the premises are two ways in which you can effectively do this. Technological advancements have allowed businesses to better moderate this, as access control systems can now be operated with cards, fobs, and more, as opposed to the previous lock-and-key method.
Want to take your access control to the next level? Why not upgrade to biometric access control, which offers even higher levels of security and exclusivity? Biometric access controls are much more secure than a physical key, since they ensure that access is limited to a select few. They are highly expensive, so make sure you cover at least the more valuable and restricted areas of your business.
Intruder alarms provide businesses with peace of mind that their commercial property is protected even outside of business hours. Even without being activated, sounding an alarm, or alerting premises owners, intruder alarms are proven deterrents to potential burglars.
Typically, an underestimated aspect of security, lighting can be an integral component of a commercial security system. Well-lit areas are not attractive to intruders, as there is a higher chance that they will be seen or picked up by the CCTV footage. Motion-activated lights may also stop an intruder in their tracks, since they will be startled.
Despite not traditionally being included as part of a smart security system, fire systems are critical to the safety of a commercial building and its users, as well as ensuring compliance. From an effective fire detecting system and strategically placed alarms to suppression systems and escape routes, there is plenty to consider when it comes to bolstering a fire system for a commercial building. You never know the impact that escape routes, and fire alarms, could have on protecting you against an intruder.
Improving Your Home Security with Countrywide Security
Despite rising figures in crime and burglary throughout the UK, the majority of residents continue to slack in appropriately securing their properties, whether for commercial or for residential applications. Want to know how such shocking statistics came to be? Why not read our blog on ‘The History of Burglary’?
Countrywide Security has over 20 years of experience. They provide a 24-hour monitoring and fire brigade response, and are SSAIB, check trade and police approved, in addition to being committed to working hard to deliver a personal service and a high level of customer care as a family business – whether you are in the West Midlands or elsewhere in the country.
If you’d like to know more about how we can help you to improve your smart home security systems, or if you have any further questions regarding the information presented throughout this blog, then please do not hesitate to get in touch! Our team would love to hear from you and would be more than happy to help.
Burglary is more common in the UK than people are led to believe, with over 267,000 burglaries reported in 2021 alone – equating to a break-in occurring every 105 seconds. It is not always as random as you think, as approximately 43% of burglars know their victims personally.
The vast majority of home break-ins would have been better avoided if people took more precautions to secure their property more effectively. Surprisingly, only 32% of households currently have a burglar alarm, and only 40% of people have a security camera. Why is this important?
We have created the following blog to explore the significance of home security systems, looking particularly at the effectiveness of access control systems, and whether they are necessary to improve the security and burglary resistance of your home and business.
Why are Access Control Systems Important?
Stronger door protection
When you have a lot of valuable possessions in your home, installing a home access control system can considerably aid in providing you with better peace of mind. Standard home doors are easily compromised – either through breaking and entering or through counterfeit key copies.
This alone can be enough to keep you constantly on edge when you know your property is vacant. Access control security systems do not require physical keys for entry, and therefore provide bolstered resistance against counterfeit key robbery.
For those with larger homes and businesses that may have multiple different entry points, it may feel like a nuisance to carry around a huge set of keys in your pocket. Why not streamline your entire key system by installing a convenient home door-entry system?
Whether you choose a key fob, card, or a more advanced biometric system, you can have complete access to every door in the building with a singular fob, card, or fingerprint. Better still, such systems are highly challenging to replicate, making it extremely unlikely that someone could gain entry to your home, even if you lose your key and fob.
Speak to visitors without opening the door
Whether you’re having to run your business from your living room or you have enthusiastic neighbours, an intercom can be an incredibly valuable home access control system.
Rather than having to stand up and rush downstairs every time your doorbell rings, you’ll have the ability to see and speak to your visitors with the click of a button. It is even possible to grant visitors access to your home without fumbling for your keys. This is hugely beneficial if you’re constantly having parcels delivered, or clients visiting your home on a regular basis.
Speaking to visitors remotely through a home door entry system is also hugely beneficial for the elderly, as they may struggle to answer the door quickly. Furthermore, they’ll be able to see exactly who’s on their doorstep without having to open the door.
This was especially beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it reduced the risk of contamination – but it can also help to prevent vulnerable people from falling victim to countless door-step scammers in the future.
Upgrading Access Control Systems with Countrywide
There are clear benefits to be gained from an access control installation in your homes and businesses. Countrywide is one of the longest-serving access control system installers in Birmingham and experts in Securing Your Property and Home Security Essentials.
With Countywide, you can be sure that you are receiving high-quality installations and systems at a reasonable price. If you have any further questions regarding the information presented in this blog, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would love to hear from you and would be more than happy to help.
The oldest definition of burglary can be traced back to the late Sir Matthew Hale – an English barrister, judge, and jurist. The definition is featured in his book, ‘The History of the Pleas of the Crown’, which was released in 1736.
In the book, Sir Matthew suggests that ‘’burglary is when a person in the nighttime breaketh or entreth’’ into the ‘’house of another’’ and has ‘’intent to commit some felony’’, ‘’whether the felonious intent be executed or not’’.
The mere existence of Sir Matthew’s definition during the 1700s is proof that burglary has been a long-term issue within the UK. Various discrepancies are also mentioned in his book, with these views illustrating a sharp contrast in how society viewed burglary – in terms of definition, prevention, and punishment – at the time, compared to today. In light of this development, this blog aims to explore the history of burglary within the UK, so that we may better understand the roots and psychology of the felony and use this knowledge to prevent and eradicate burglary in the future.
History and punishment of burglary in the UK
The term burglary comes from the German word ‘burg’, which means ‘house’, and ‘laron’, meaning ‘thief’. Although the etymology of the words themselves is easy to discern, the social attitudes towards and the severity of the punishments for burglary have undergone countless changes over time. This section addresses these changes, outlining contemporary social attitudes to crime and burglary, as well as discussing how it was punished during each time period.
Finding out what the actual crime situation was like during this time period is no easy task, as court records are the only source of information detailing crimes and criminals. Court records from the time have limited credibility as a source, as they only inform about the criminals that have been caught and convicted and fail to consider the statistics of those who were not caught in the act. That being said, of the crimes that were on record, over 73.5% were reportedly theft related.
Before 1450, crime prevention was the sole responsibility of the local community. As a result, punishments were simple and had to be seen as generally fair. Religion played a huge role in morally influencing communities at the time and often provided the guiding principles for what was and wasn’t considered a crime.
Around this time, mutilation was rarely used. With the absence of policing, serious offences within a community had to be dealt with quickly and firmly. As a result, the death penalty was used frequently. This was typically done by hanging and would be used for other offences such as murder, arson, and forgery, as well as burglary of goods valued at over a shilling. Execution by means of beheading was usually reserved for those of noble or royal birth who had been convicted of treason.
Prisons at the time were referred to as ‘gaols’ and were typically found in the dungeons of castles. However, they were rarely used, owing to their high-cost implications. Instead, fines were given for the pettiest offenses. Those criminals who were felt to have offended the public were put into the stocks if they were male, or the ducking stool if they were female. These were called ‘shaming punishments’, as they humiliated the offender in front of his or her neighbours. Trial by battle was introduced into England by the Normans from 1066 onwards, where those that lost the fight in combat were hanged.
There are a host of contextual influences during this time period, which will have influenced the social attitudes towards crime and punishment at the time.
The rising prosperity of the country during this time brought about elements of peace. This was temperamental, however, as there were disruptive events such as ‘the reformation’ – conflict between the Roman Catholics and Protestants – as well as a bloody ‘Civil war’ from 1642-1651. The rising population was also a contributing factor, as it forced thousands of people into poverty, bringing about rebellions and tension between the class divides. The government also gained power in the UK at this time. The newfound power was often abused by rich allies of politicians, with the introduction of new laws and crimes to make specific people criminals.
Highway robbery was a common crime during this time period. There were very few banks, which meant that few people carried their money around with them. Britain was largely a rural country at the time, with very few large towns and a lack of road infrastructure. As a result, roads were often very quiet and many country villages were isolated, without a police force. Highway robbers took advantage of this and rode on horseback in order to stop, chase, and escape from their victims effectively.
As highlighted previously, the early years of this time period were largely defined by the religious and political disturbances of the national reformation and the Civil War. Rebellions and treason plots were born from the sheer chaos of these incidents and brought with them savage punishments, including hanging, drawing, and quartering.
From the late 17th century onwards, the country was generally at peace. Royal power was brought under control and transferred to the government and the property-owning rich. They began ruling the country as MPs in parliament and JPs in local areas. In order to better exert their control and reduce the national crime rate, the ‘bloody code’ and the ‘houses of correction’ were introduced.
The bloody code:
From 1660 onwards, the number of offences penalised with the death penalty increased enormously and began to include six new offences known as ‘the bloody code’. This meant that people at the time could be hanged for: stealing goods worth five shillings (25p), stealing from a shipwreck, pilfering from a naval dockyard, damaging Westminster bridge, impersonating a Chelsea pensioner, and cutting down a young tree.
There was no police force at the time, and as a result, the Bloody Code was introduced in order to serve as a threat that prevented people from considering crime. Many of the death sentences dealt were made public and would draw thousands of people to come to watch – further supporting the deterring effects of the bloody code.
Houses of correction:
Houses of correction were built in many areas throughout the late 16th century. These were often referred to as ‘bridewells’. Bridewells were similar to prisons in many ways. However, the inmates in a house of correction were forced to work, typically either by spinning or weaving. Many citizens who were thought to be overly idle or lazy were also sent to these facilities, to learn the virtues of hard work.
Britain went through extraordinary changes from 1750 to 1900. For one, the population rose dramatically from 10 million people in 1750 to a whopping 42 million people in 1900. With this population increase, many people began to move away from villages in the countryside to towns and cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, and Preston. The main reason people did this was to take advantage of the higher levels of freedom that could be achieved, as in villages, your employer would likely have owned your place of residence and, as a result, would have wanted to know what you were up to at all times.
The industrial revolution transformed British industries and transformed the economy so that industries such as textiles, iron, metal goods, and pottery were no longer facilitated by skilled workers making small scale-items but were instead moved into large-scale factories. Workforces were densely populated at the time and often had to endure unsafe working conditions, uncertain employment security, and rivalling with the landowning classes. Railways and canals were also introduced, providing fast and cheap transport for the general public.
Crime reporting was much more reliable during this time period, as newspapers were introduced and began to flourish. As a result, criminal statistics from the time are much easier to quantify and provide more accurate insight into the criminal situation at the time.
From these, it becomes clear that the changes to Britain’s economy had a huge impact on crime, presenting many new opportunities for criminal activity. Warehouses were stuffed with goods to sell, banks began to hold huge amounts of money, and the huge houses of the upper class presented new and tempting targets for burglars.
In early 19th century London, a police force was set up, comprised of 450 constables and 4500 night watchmen. Numerous complications arose throughout the introduction of the police force, as people feared that they would begin to suppress protests and support military dictatorship. Furthermore, people did not think it was the job of the government to set up and control the police force, believing that it should instead be under local control.
Shaming punishments such as the stocks and pillory fell out of use. This era also saw the eradication of whipping as a punishment, in addition to a reduction in the number of hangings. Public executions started to become rowdy and lawless occasions, which subsequently affected the social attitudes towards them at the time, as people began to think of them as barbaric. As a result, public hangings were abolished and were transferred to the confines of prison.
During the 18th century and at the start of the 19th century, transportation of prisoners to America and Australia became a regular occurrence. This was eventually brought to an end, as crime rates continued to increase and Australia became further agitated that their country was being used as a criminal depot. In response, the UK was forced to develop its prisons on a larger scale. Until they were finished with the prison building process, there were not enough prisons to house the surplus of convicts. As a result, the government began issuing disused warships known as ‘hulks’ to hold the prisoners temporarily. It was believed that hard, boring work in total silence on these ships would force criminals to think about repentance.
Those prisons that were built – including the famous Pentonville Prison – were modelled on the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia and followed the ‘separate system’. The ‘separate system’ involved the regimentation, direction, and observation of a convict’s day in meticulous detail. Prisoners were forbidden to communicate with one another and were locked in their cells for 23 hours a day to eat, work, and sleep. Each time they were moved through the prison, their faces were covered by hoods – and the only time they were allowed out was to be seated in chapels in separate stalls or to exercise in separate airing yards. At the time, prison was the punishment issued to 90% of serious offenders – including those that committed house theft. However, they were eventually shut down, as they became associated with the regular mental breakdowns amongst the
growing prison population of the UK.
20th Century onwards:
By the early 20th century, much of Britain’s industrial supremacy was in decline. A great depression hit hard in the 1930s, causing a national unemployment rate of 22%, in addition to forcing some people to go jobless for over 20 years. At the same time, electricity, radio, cars, and household goods were all introduced into society, creating a huge class divide throughout much of the century and encouraging people to move around the countries in search of work. This made communities less stable and people were less likely to know one another.
The two world wars that took place in this century not only contributed to the destruction of homes, towns, and family life but also provided the government with new levels of power to intervene in people’s lives. Religious beliefs also began to decline at this time, with societal attitudes shaped more and more by TV and newspapers than by churches.
The introduction of motor cars had a negative impact on robbery crimes, as it provided criminals with a faster getaway vehicle and a culture for stealing cars as a means of joyriding. As a result, by 1939, 60% of all crimes car related.
The crime rate in early 20th century Britain was lower than that of the early 19th century, with the terrible poverty and unemployment of the 1930s bringing only a small increase in crime, until the 1960s onwards, at which point crime began to skyrocket. In all, throughout the 1900s, there were 3,812 burglaries and 63,604 reported thefts.
The 1900s paved the way for universal education, better housing, and for police to become an accepted part of British life. Capital punishment was abolished completely in 1965. Penal qualities throughout the century began to emphasise reform rather than punishment, pushing for prisoners to lead somewhat normal lives during their sentence – through more meaningful work, pay, and easier family visits.
Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse in the latter parts of the century, as crime began to increase, with young people increasingly involved in violent crimes from football hooliganism. Detention centres, which supposedly gave people a short, sharp shock, were introduced as a mediation technique and typically involved community service orders, which allowed convicts to repay their debt to society through many hours of socially beneficial work. Detention centres had a horrendous reputation for abuse of inmates, in verbal, physical, and sexual terms, eventually leading to their demise.
Tagging was introduced in the 1990s as a way of keeping offenders out of trouble. In some areas of the UK, offenders were brought face-to-face with their victims, in an effort for both constituents to get over the crime and move forward. More offenders and longer sentences during the 20th century led to an increase in prison populations once again. This resulted in ridiculous levels of over-crowding, which consequently worsened the improving living conditions and the previous efforts for bettering prison education, workshops, and family visits. The famous prison riots of the 1980s and the 1990s are believed to have been a result of this.
The current situation?
At present, seven houses are broken into every day. A burglary often takes less than 10 minutes but can cost a homeowner on average up to £3,030 – with one-third of the value solely based on the emotional cost to victims. In 2021, England and Wales’s police force received over 235,000 crime reports for burglary. This is a decrease of 17% from 2020’s figure of 274,000 reports for burglary but is still a humongous decrease from the 1,100,000 reports for burglary in the year 2000.
A suggested cause for the dramatic drop in theft statistics is reportedly a result of improved home security systems, including the introduction of security cameras and alarm monitoring. It is suggested that 77% of people with at least a basic home security system are not burgled. There is further evidence to support this, as 60% of thieves have suggested that they wouldn’t burgle a property if it had an alarm. Despite this, only 32% of British householders have a burglar alarm and just 40% have a security camera.
As made evident throughout this blog, burglary, crime, and punishment have come a long way over the years. Initially, theft crimes made up 73.5% of reported crimes, with the burglary of goods valued above a shilling resulting in the death penalty. There have been numerous contextual influences that served as catalysts in this development, from national reforms, Civil and World Wars, the industrial revolution, the great depression, the invention of cars, and the flourishing of newspapers. As a result, the justice system has moved from being locally determined and unpoliced to one of a less barbaric nature.
It can be argued that in light of the reduction in penal severity, convicts have gained confidence in committing crimes, which could explain the influx in reported burglaries from 3000 incidents during the 1900ss, to over 1.1 million incidents in 2000. The rates of burglary have since depleted, likely in response to the introduction and social adoption of monitored home security and security camera systems.
If you have any questions on how you can better equip yourself against the modern burglar or would like a quote for monitored home security and security camera installations, then please do not hesitate to get in touch! Our team are experts at what we do and would love to help!
Burglaries are scarily common within the UK – with a new break-in occurring every 106 seconds. This amounted to 267,000 burglaries in 2021, with 817 per day, and 34 per hour. An average burglary takes less than ten minutes, yet can cost an average of £2,856 per household.
Despite such terrifying statistics, only 32% of homeowners in the UK own burglar alarms, and 40% own a security camera. Simply being home is not a sufficient deterrent for burglars, as 64.1% of successful residential burglaries happened whilst someone was inside their property. So how do you secure your property?
This blog provides the top 10 methods for securing your property, in the hopes that you will have better peace of mind and can feel safe within your residential sanctuary.
Top 10 ways to secure your property:
1. Ensure all your windows and doors are locked
It may sound like the oldest trick in the book, but unlocked windows and doors are the easiest way for a burglar to gain entry to your home. Make sure to check that your doors and windows are fully locked before going out, or going to bed. It may seem over the top, but it is recommended to lock your front and back doors even whilst you are occupied in another room, or upstairs. Whilst you are busy elsewhere, a burglar may sneak in without you realising. In any case, it is better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to get into the habit of keeping your home secure by locking your windows and doors.
2. Make sure you’ve got two locks on your front door
Not only does having two locks add strength to your door to prevent it from getting kicked in, but they can also serve as a deterrent for robbers to approach in the first place. Opportunists will look at a row of houses and know they have a better chance of getting in if they have only one lock. There is no point in having two locks if you do not use them both, as thieves will come to your front door and use their feet to put pressure on your door to tell them whether the door has two locks in use.
3. Install a security camera
CCTV installation has many benefits when it comes to keeping your house secure. The sheer sight of a security camera is enough to be a deterrent to many burglars, as it suggests that your home is well-protected. However, if you are unfortunately a victim of burglary, then your CCTV installation can capture footage, which can be used to help you get justice. Modern CCTV cameras include high-definition footage and can feature night vision and vast hard drives to store lots of footage.
Nowadays, it is also possible to link your CCTV to your smartphones, tablets, or laptops, as a means of keeping an eye on your home irrespective of where you are based. Smart CCTV systems will even send an alert through to your mobile if they detect movement in or around your home.
4. Keep ladders and tools locked away
Tools, ladders, and other related objects can be used to assist with breaking into your home, therefore, it is better to keep them securely locked away. Thieves use ladders to climb and take a long look inside your home – to scope the value of your items and to access your house through upstairs windows.
It is integral that toys and bikes are locked away properly in your garage and shed. A high-quality, waterproof lock should be implemented to do this effectively. Bikes are of high value and can be used to help burglars escape, whereas toys and games can indicate that there are other valuable items inside the house.
5. Don’t answer the door if you’re unsure who’s there.
If you are not anticipating anybody to be knocking on your door, then it is best not to answer it. At the very least, if you are unsure of who it is, then you should answer the door with the chain on – as it’s common for older people to be targeted with door-knocking scams or distraction burglaries.
A distraction burglary occurs when one person is used to distract the homeowner at the front door, whilst an accomplice searches for another way into the home and proceeds to steal any valuables they can find.
If this was to become a regular occurrence for you, then the best way to avoid it is to ignore the door and call for the police. If you do choose to answer the door, then you should do the following:
- Only open the door with the chain on.
- Ask for a photo ID to prove that the person is who they claim to be.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions to see how they react.
- Don’t think twice about refusing entry and closing the door.
- Consider installing a peephole or video doorbell, as it allows you to see who is knocking without having to open the door.
6. Be careful with social media
Burglars will monitor social media to see something that might give them a window of opportunity. As a result, it is highly important that when you post on social media, you don’t give your details away.
It’s easy to forget that when you are uploading an image, your house could be in the background, as with other details. This could highlight your house number and the location of your belongings to social media onlookers. Make sure to also avoid publishing photos of your TV, jewellery, or bank card.
Similar care needs to be taken when making your profiles also. There is no requirement to share specific details such as your street name, so this should be avoided – as your details can be used to access some of your other online accounts and digital identities.
If you’re going on holiday, you should additionally avoid mentioning it on your profiles. A photo from the airport is essentially an announcement that your home is going to be vacant for several days at a time and can therefore be taken advantage of.
7. Install a burglar alarm
The sight of a burglar alarm in itself is a huge deterrent for any potential burglar. If a burglar was to enter your home, then an alarm reduces the likelihood that they will hang around to search for your valuables.
There are different types of burglar alarm installations to consider, each with its benefits and applications – depending on your personal preferences, your budget, where you live, what your home is like, and what level of protection and response you require. The different types of burglar alarms to consider are as follows:
(Makes a loud noise, but does not contact you or the police)
(Automatically dials your phone number, or the phone of a chosen friend or family member when the alarm is triggered)
(The alarm contacts you or loved ones when the alarm is triggered, either through a smartphone or tablet app)
(A monthly or annual fee is paid for a company to act, or call the police if the alarm is triggered)
8. Think about where you display things
Similar to social media, criminals are constantly scanning households for indicative information regarding the value of a household’s possessions, and the best opportunities to retrieve them. As a result, a great degree of caution should be implemented into what you have on show and displayed through your windows.
Burglars can read, and therefore, if you hang a calendar up in your kitchen facing a window, then your calendar is clearly documenting to robbers the dates that you are going to be away from the house – allowing them all the information they need to plan their future robbery down to a tee.
9. Invest in curtains
One way that you can better secure your property is to invest in curtains or any alternatives that may help you to obscure the things that are inside your home. If onlookers can easily see into the inside of your house, then they are given insights into the people who live there. This is especially true for festive seasons such as Christmas, as many houses will leave gifts on show, with many people showcasing their empty boxes outside as an advertisement for what they’ve got for Christmas, which could encourage thieves to take it upon themselves to invite themselves in.
10. Don’t display a ‘beware of the dog’ sticker
Having a pet is one of the most traditional means of securing your house, which is why many dog-owners like to emphasize this by purchasing a clear ‘beware of the dog’ sticker in their front window.
This is advised against nowadays, as it more often than not indicates to the burglar that they can gain entry to the property, as the owners most likely won’t have set their alarms if they’ve got a cat or a dog roaming about to set it off. It also highlights to burglars that you may have a cat or dog flap around the back of the house which they could use to aid their entry into your house.
Having a pet is still a valid way of securing your property and enhancing the safety of your home, It should simply not be advertised with ‘beware of’ stickers, for the above reasons.
As highlighted previously, burglaries are a scarily common occurrence in the UK – with over 267,000 burglaries occurring in 2021. Despite this, only 32% of homeowners have a burglar alarm installed, even though they are reported to be one of the biggest deterrents.
If you would like to know more about how you can be proactive against burglary, or perhaps would like to purchase a trusted home security system, then please do not hesitate to get in touch! Our experienced and highly capable team would love to hear from you and would be more than happy to help out wherever we can.