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Why ‘just a minute’ is just enough for a burglar

Opportunistic burglars thrive on your momentary lapses

We all know the general home security precautions we need to take: don’t leave valuables in sight; keep doors locked etc and while, on the whole, we may stick to this advice how many of us actually do it religiously, all the time?

How often are we out in the garden enjoying the sunshine and we pop in to get a drink and just leave our phone out there on the table? How often do we come in from a bike ride and just leave our expensive bikes in the garden while we go in to get changed? And, how often do we come in from work, toss our bags/wallets/keys/phone onto the table and go put the kettle on?

It’s just for a minute, what’s going to happen? For the most part, probably nothing however is it worth the risk? For the opportunistic burglar, these moments are golden; it’s what they are constantly looking out for because if you’re gone for just a minute, they can be in and out in 30 seconds. You may not even realise they’ve been in until much later. Plus there’s always a chance you’ll be distracted once you get inside – you get chatting, you nip to the loo, you see something interesting on the TV. That could give someone an even bigger window to help themselves.

The only way to really thwart the opportunistic burglar is to not give them the opportunity! Be mindful of keeping your valuables safe and out of sight: take phones and devices inside with you when you go in from the garden; be proactive and put bikes away in the garage as soon as you get in (one less job for you to do later anyway!); keep handbags and keys well out of sight within the house away from doors and windows; and lock doors when you go inside, especially if you go upstairs or away from the immediate vicinity. This may seem like being over-cautious but it’s just a case of getting used to new habits (it won’t even cost you any money!). Plus, many home insurance policies won’t pay out for an insecure burglary (where the intruder gains access via an unlocked door or open window) so you really would be kicking yourself then. Don’t even give them a minute.