One of the perks of this last year has been the drop in burglaries. However, with over 1,100 burglaries a day still happening across the UK, burglars are finding increasingly clever ways to break into our homes.
Burglars are becoming more innovative. Here are the latest burglary tricks and trends sweeping the country, and how to best protect your property against them.
Latest burglary tricks and trends
Masking tape trick
A new trick using tape is sweeping the UK to help burglars identify when a house is empty. This tactic involves potential intruders putting tape over the keyhole of a house they think is empty. If the tape hasn't been removed within a few days, they assume the home is unoccupied.
In a similar manner, some burglars are placing tape tightly over doorbells to keep them ringing. If the homeowner doesn't answer after a while the house is assumed empty.
An alert to this new tactic has been raised by the police in cities such as Birmingham, where some residents came home to find tape covering their doorbell.
Leaflet stacks tactic
A similar tactic emerging recently uses leaflets to detect if a house is empty. Burglars post leaflets - from takeaway menus to business flyers - in the letterboxes every day.
After a while, if they can see that the flyers are gathering up in the doorway, they assume the house is unoccupied. If you are going away for a few days consider asking a neighbour to pop in every couple of days to pick up the mail, to avoid falling victim to this trick.
The next trick is among the most sinister new burglary trends, and involves forced entry. Police in Stockport last year reported a rise in burglars blowtorching locks clean off doors.
The blowtorch destroys the lock area of the door and can be done in a matter of seconds. Another method is lock snapping which uses force to break the weak centres of double cylinder locks.
'Homeowners looking to protect against these new threats should make sure their locks meet recommended safety standards,' says Izzy Schulman, Director at Keys 4 U.
'The best way to protect against lock snapping is to install a 3-star rated cylinder lock, as these are specifically tested against snapping techniques.'
Burglars using distractions isn't a new trend. However, the have been reports of a new distraction technique.
The Wolverhampton police force issued an alert last month warning households against someone claiming to be administering a COVID-19 vaccine as an excuse to enter private property. In one case, the burglar was able to get away with a mobile phone and cash.
To protect against this always ask for ID from anyone who asks to enter your home. If they're from a legitimate company they should be able to provide identification.
Burglary numbers might be going down, but it's important to always be on your guard.
Get the Ideal Home Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for style and decor inspiration, house makeovers, project advice and more.
Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.
Katie Piper's glam Christmas tree uses this smart faux foliage technique for a stunning maximalist look
Katie Piper's glam Christmas tree is festive goals, quite frankly
By Kayleigh Dray
This viral IKEA mirror hack perfectly fakes an expensive-looking heavy mirror – and for less than £50
Recreate the luxurious look of a heavy mirror with this easy IKEA mirror hack
By Sara Hesikova
Kimberly Walsh's bold and on-trend glassware is the key to an 'elegant and cohesive' tablescape, say experts
Add a touch of unexpected vibrancy to the Christmas dinner table
By Jullia Joson