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Homeowners fearful of break-ins

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A survey has found that homeowners feel more at risk of being burgled because of the current economic crisis than they did before the recession struck.

According to Halifax Home Insurance, one in seven people think the risk of someone breaking into their home is greater now than ever before.

However, 20% of people said this had not made them keep valuables in their property out of sight or away from windows, and a further 22% fail to keep their windows and doors locked when they are at home.

The poll of 2,000 people also found that 17% have not taken out contents insurance to replace valuables, even though one in four of those questioned had been burgled in the past.

The research comes after figures showed the number of house break-ins year-on-year rose by 4% during the final quarter of 2008.

Martyn Foulds, senior claims manager at Halifax Home Insurance, said: "It is surprising to see that so many people are effectively advertising their valuables to thieves by leaving them visible through windows, and the fact that many are leaving windows and doors unlocked means it can be all too tempting for burglars."

© Press Association 2009