Economic and Social Research Council
Burglary risk highest for least advantaged groups
Social renters are three times more at risk of being burgled than homeowners, with lower levels of security protection for their homes.
Households in Britain are three times less likely to be burgled today than in 1993. Yet the relative risk of burglary is now much higher for some groups in society than others, says recent research.
"The distribution of burglary in our society has become much more unjust," says researcher Professor Andromachi Tseloni. "Today, social renters are three times more at risk of being burgled than homeowners. The relative risk of burglary is also greater for groups such as lone parents, ethnic minority households, low-income households and those living in deprived areas."
Increased security, researchers believe, has played a major role in the fall in burglary rates over the past 25 years. Research led by Professor Tseloni finds that a combination of just four specific burglary devices offers 49 times more protection than having no security at all. Fitting window locks, interior lights and timer, double or deadlocks and external lights (WIDE) is the most effective security combination.
Adding any more security measures on top of WIDE does not afford any further protection and, interestingly, a burglar alarm on its own appears to increase burglary risk and, added onto other measures, reduces their combined protection. Fitting external lights on a sensor appears to provide the greatest protection against burglary if only one device can be afforded.
The study finds that groups such as social renters who are most vulnerable to burglary also have lower levels of security protection for their homes than others. The level of reported burglary has remained constant at some 700,000 cases a year for the past 12 years. Further reductions in burglary crime would, researchers believe, only be achievable if resources were now focused on those groups at higher risk of burglary.
"In our view, local authorities and social landlords should upgrade their properties with the WIDE security combination recommended by our research," says Professor Tseloni. "Raising awareness of WIDE, introducing neighbourhood watch type initiatives and replacing poor windows and doors for home owners who cannot afford that expense are some of the other measures that could help ensure that certain groups in society do not suffer unduly from criminal activity."
This article was published in the Summer 2017 issue of the Society Now magazine.
- Contact: Professor Andromachi Tseloni, Nottingham Trent University
- Burglary security (Nottingham Trent University)
- Which burglary security devices work for whom and in what context? (Gateway to Research)
Latest News from
Economic and Social Research Council
National circular economy research programme launches01/06/2021 14:43:00
A major research programme encompassing 34 universities and 200 industry partners has been launched to catalyse the UK’s shift to a circular economy.
Researchers pilot plans for new national birth cohort study14/05/2021 15:25:00
Researchers are set to test innovative approaches to a major new UK-wide study that will follow babies born in the 2020s over many decades.
New directors for Made Smarter Innovation programme11/05/2021 09:25:00
Two new co-directors have been announced to lead the research and network strand of the £147 million Made Smarter Innovation programme.
National study tracks effect of pandemic on students’ lives23/04/2021 16:10:00
A new study will follow the educational, career and wellbeing outcomes for 12,000 Year 11 students across England.
ESRC and Health Foundation supports new adult social care centre25/03/2021 10:20:00
A brand new centre for adult social care will set out to put evidence into practice to promote and maintain people’s independence and wellbeing.
UKRI announces nearly £11m funding for healthy ageing research09/03/2021 09:10:00
Seven research projects designed to support the government’s healthy ageing agenda will share £10.7 million in funding provided by UK Research and Innovation.
Initiatives boost health and bioscience skills and industry05/03/2021 15:20:00
Innovation Scholarship initiatives totalling £10 million have gone to secondments and training programmes in health and bioscience.
Research investigates COVID-19 impact on UK farmer mental health18/02/2021 13:10:00
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the mental health and resilience of farmers and farm workers will be the focus of new research led by University of Reading.