Ex-convicts have warned of a lack of home security in Sussex and the rest of the south east after research found almost a third of people in the region take no security precautions.
The research, conducted on behalf of Co-op Insurance, saw a panel of ex-convicts interviewed about what security measures would act as the biggest deterrents for thieves. Researchers also spoke with people around the south east, asking what steps they have taken to secure their homes and cars.
The study found CCTV cameras, the sound of a barking dog and strong heavy doors are most likely to put off home burglars. Whilst, CCTV street cameras, car alarms and street lighting top the list for car thieves.
Despite this, just a tenth (9 per cent) of South East’s adults say they’ve installed CCTV cameras and whilst ex-thieves point out that motion activated security lights are a key deterrent for home thieves, just a fifth (19%) of South East’s adults say they’ve installed such lights.
Further highlighting the South East’s lack of home security, almost a third (31 per cent) say they don’t take any security precautions, while 61 per cent sleep with their windows open at night – which is more than any other region across the UK.
Former bank robber turned journalist, Noel ‘Razor’ Smith said: “As a former criminal, I know all the tricks homeowners use to keep their homes safe, that’s why I find it shocking that the Co-op’s research reveals 31 per cent of South East adults don’t take any precautions whatsoever.
“Luckily there are some very simple steps everyone can take to make our homes more secure and keep our valuables safe”
The study also found that four fifths (89 per cent) of the ex-convicts said they would be put off targeting a smart connected home, with a further two thirds (67 per cent) stating they would steer clear of connected cars.
Despite this, just 4 per cent of South East’s adults have invested in smart technology for their homes and cars.
Caroline Hunter, Head of Home Insurance at Co-op commented: “Our research shows that almost half (44 per cent) of thieves are opportunists and so it’s really important that home and car owners are vigilant and think carefully about the security of their homes and vehicles.
“Nobody should have to go through the trauma of having their property burgled and there are some small measures which homeowners should be mindful of to ensure any opportunists cannot be tempted.”