When you leave your home, do you lock your door?
Around 12 per cent of Kiwis don’t, according to a survey. Across the entire population, that’s equivalent to 218,880 households not securing their property.
“A worrying number of people continue to put themselves at risk,” said Kevin McHugh, publisher of financial research website Finder in New Zealand.
“Simple things like failing to lock your front door at night make you an easy target for burglars.”
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Looking at other available safety measures, the survey found almost half of the 2001 respondents don’t have locks on their windows, and over 50 per cent don’t lock their garage when a car is parked inside.
A police spokesperson said burglary and theft are usually crimes of opportunity.
“If you secure your property, in many cases an offender will move on. No community is completely crime-free,” the spokesperson said.
Previous research from Finder and New Zealand Police identified Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Tauranga as the five most burgled places in the country between January 2017 and March 2020.
Between December 2019 and January 2020 there were around 13,090 burglaries reported nationwide, according to police data.
McHugh said there tends to be a spike in burglaries during holiday periods every year.
“It’s therefore important to be extra cautious right now– even small measures like locking your doors and windows at night, or installing a sensor light can make a big difference,” he explained.
The survey found only a small percentage of respondents had house-only insurance, a guard dog, or video system installed.
To protect yourself and your home, police recommended keeping valuables out of sight and away from windows, keeping bushes and hedges near the property trimmed to avoid them being used as hiding spots by burglars, and looking out for neighbours who go away on holiday.
“Police would advise people to lock their doors with good quality locks and lock their cars wherever they live in New Zealand,” the spokesperson added.