Police urge vigilance as dark nights loom

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the man's death. Picture: Police Scotland
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the man's death. Picture: Police Scotland

Police and security experts have called on neighbours to join forces in a bid to tackle burglaries as dark nights loom.

Over three quarters of UK homeowners (73%) would like to see more vigilance in their communities, according to a survey by home security firm ADT launched this week

But two thirds (68%) said they hardly know any of their neighbours after living on their street for an average of six years. The research comes as new statistics reported a significant increase in burglaries during the Autumn months - up to ten percent in some places.

According to UKCrimeStats1, covering England and Wales in the last four years, reported break-ins totalled 35,798 in September, before leaping to 39,953 in October and peaking at 40,428 November.

Figures from the year before put these totals at 40,684 in October and 42,428 in November - a contrast with the summer months.

With experts agreeing on the link between darker nights and higher levels of domestic burglary, police want to encourage communities to form alliances to help deter thieves.

In the ADT survey of 2,000 British householders, nearly half said they had been burgled or knew someone who has been burgled on their street. Another 26 percent admitted that this made them feel unsafe in their neighbourhood and 17 percent even claimed that they want to move house because of the burglaries.

But despite half of homeowners admitting they would feel safer knowing that their neighbours are keeping an eye out, one in three (31%) admitted they didn’t trust their neighbour enough to leave a house key with them. And another third of residents (27 %) said they would worry they would appear nosey or interfering if they reported unusual behaviour.