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'Basic' security puts off burglars

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Home insurance companies have been vindicated in offering lower quotes for secure properties after a new Government study revealed homes with little security are nearly five times more likely to be burgled.

The number of break-ins recorded since 1995 has fallen dramatically and officials said the increased use of security devices has been a big factor, with deadlocks, window bolts and alarms all protecting against burglary across England and Wales.

However, the Home Office study also shows homes without window locks or dead locks are five times more likely to be targeted by burglars than those with "basic" security measures. Three-quarters of burglaries, about 550,000, took place at homes with little or no security, according to statistics.

The number of burglaries peaked in 1995 before falling sharply, according to the British Crime Survey. The drop in crime was mirrored by a rise in the use of security features such as window locks and an increased awareness of crime.

Officials found purses, wallets and money remain the most likely things to be stolen, with such items taken in almost half (46%) of burglaries.

© Press Association 2010