One of the main reasons that so many burglaries go unsolved is a lack of adequate home security. Homeowners often do not see the point in installing features such as CCTV, believing them to be ineffective and not good value for money. However, recent footage released by Northumbria Police has shown how useful these devices can be, while hopefully raising awareness of the dangers of neglecting your home security.
The police force has published a video from a specially set-up "stinger flat" in Newcastle that was fitted with CCTV. The footage shows a burglar climbing into the apartment via an open window. In less than a minute, the thief is able to grab a laptop, quickly search for other valuables, then leave the same way he got in.
Unlike the stereotypical image of a burglar, the criminal in the footage has made no effort to conceal his appearance - although Northumbria Police have blurred his face in the video - and as such was caught soon after the burglary. He has since been convicted for the crime. This shows just how effective CCTV can be.
It also highlights how potentially easy a burglary can take place if good home security measures are not implemented. Neighbourhood Inspector Darren Adams pointed out that "it literally only takes burglars minutes to be in and out of the property with valuable items", especially if doors or windows are left unlocked.
However, Inspector Adams also said that the video will "act as a clear message to burglars", that if they think they can break into homes "they could potentially find themselves caught on camera giving clear evidence they are responsible".
This is not the only way that CCTV can help, of course. Thanks to recent advances in technology, video cameras can prevent crimes as well as helping to catch the criminals once a burglary has been committed. In the event of a break-in, an alert will be sent to the 24-hour Alarm Receiving Centre, and you can arrange a pre-planned response for this kind of situation.
Inspector Adams said: "We want to help prevent people from being a victim of burglary. By taking a few crime prevention measures they could deter a burglar." Systems such as SECOM's can make the difference between a safe home and a break-in. See our range of home security options here to see how you can protect your family and property.