£27 billion pounds: the cost of peace of mind for burgled Britons

Burgled Britons have spent a staggering £27 billion pounds in the last five years in an attempt to regain peace of mind following a break-in.

•Burgled Britons spent £27 billion in the last five years to feel safe in their homes.

•28% had to move house to get away from their violated homes.
•For the majority, fortifying their homes with locks, lights and alarms was the only option.
•Neighbourhood spirit across the UK is waning - over half claimed that they didn't believe their neighbours would respond to their burglar alarm if it went off.
•10% no longer go out after dark.

Burgled Britons have spent a staggering £27 billion pounds in the last five years in an attempt to regain peace of mind following a break -in. That's just one of the findings of a recent ICM nationwide survey, commissioned by Intamac Systems, which examined the measures taken and costs incurred by UK householders to feel safe in their homes in the aftermath of a break -in.

While many speak of the emotional burden caused by a burglary, few realise the financial implications, as victims take the steps they think necessary to feel safe in their homes again - something not covered by home insurance policies.

For a large proportion of people surveyed, it was too late - nothing could make them feel safe in their home again. The thought of criminals being in their home was too much to bear, and so almost one third of those surveyed packed up their possessions and moved home.

Peace of mind was not something that those questioned felt was being offered by the surrounding community. In a sad indictment of neighbourhood support across the UK, 22% added a burglar alarm following a break -in, yet over 60% believed that their neighbours or passers -by would not respond should their alarm go off. Only 11% were 'very confident' that someone would.

For others, fortifying their home after the event was paramount, with 46% adding extra locks, 42% adding outdoor security lights and 37% changing the locks on the doors to their home. Over 10% of those questions decided to put extra 'bite' into securing their home and hoped that buying a dog would deter would -be thieves. In addition, one in ten decided to shut out the outside world by erecting a high fence around their property.

David Rimmer, spokesperson for leading home and SME security monitoring company Intamac systems, which commissioned the research said, "While we have tried to put a figure on peace of mind, it seems that feeling safe in your own home is priceless. We talk about our homes being our castles, but after a break -in, the householder's relationship with their home dramatically changes, with many striving to regain the apparent air of safety and normality they enjoyed before the experience. Those surveyed have gone to great lengths to achieve this, with some sadly having to turn to counselling sessions and 10% even taking to staying in after dark.

"We were also astounded at the high numbers (60%) who didn't have faith in their neighbours to come to their aid should their alarms go off."

Other key facts from the survey include:
•One in four homes has suffered a break -in.
•Before being broken into, half of those surveyed viewed security as very important; this figure dramatically rises to 84% after a break -in.
•Prior to being burgled, 38% believed they would never need to secure their home.
•Wales is the place where you are least likely to be broken into (9 out of 10 homes have not been burgled), while London is the place you are most likely to be burgled (1 in 3 Londoners homes have been broken into).
•21% of people burgled were at home sleeping at the time of the break -in.

"Unlike traditional bells -only systems, Intamac provides a home monitoring and messaging service through the Internet. So whenever there is a suspected break -in, you and your nominated contacts (friends or family) will get an automated messaging - voice call, mobile text message or e -mail in real time. This means that home owners can take control of the situation and take the appropriate course of action in a timely manner - whether they are at home, at work or on holiday," concludes Rimmer.

The security product is available now through global partners such as Cisco, BT, Yale and IAG - and through leading retailers such as Homebase and PC World or by visiting www.intamac.com

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