Burglars are less likely to break into your home if you have CCTV cameras and barking dogs, former crooks have revealed.
A panel of former burglars said many thieves were opportunists who would wander the streets before choosing their targets and would try to avoid complicated break-ins that could draw attention.
And the 12-person panel revealed CCTV cameras are the best way to stop crooks targeting your home and car.
Locked windows and doors, a switched on TV and loud barking dogs are also high up on the list of things that would make them think twice before attempting a burglary.
A panel of former burglars has revealed top tips to keep your home and car safe from thieves. Advice includes installing CCTV cameras around your house and having barking dogs
Locked windows and strong, heavy doors are also effective deterrents against thieves. Motion activated lights and a switched on TV also scored highly on the list
Despite these tips, only slightly more than a tenth (14%) of UK adults have installed CCTV at their homes and while ex-thieves point out motion activated security lights are a key deterrent for thieves, less than a quarter (24%) have the lights installed.
And worryingly, 28% of adults surveyed say they do not take any security precautions at all, leaving their doors unlocked while at home.
A fifth of those surveyed said they actively post on social media showing they are on holiday.
Caroline Hunter, head of home insurance at Co-op, who carried out the research, said: ‘Our research shows that almost half (44%) of thieves are opportunists and so it’s really important that home and car owners are vigilant and think carefully about the security of their homes and vehicles.
‘Nobody should have to go through the trauma of having their property burgled and there are some small measures which homeowners should be mindful of to ensure any opportunists cannot be tempted.’
Despite these tips, only slightly more than a tenth (14%) of UK adults has installed CCTV at their homes
A panel of former burglars revealed the most effective way of keeping your home and car safe from thieves is to install CCTV cameras
Former bank robber Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, pictured, advised homeowners to take extra steps in order to keep their property safe from thieves
Former bank robber turned journalist, Noel ‘Razor’ Smith said: ‘As a former criminal, I know all the tricks homeowners use to keep their homes safe. Luckily there are some very simple steps everyone can take to make our homes more secure and keep our valuables safe’
Lynn Farrar, Chair of Neighbourhood Watch added: ‘Having your car or home broken into can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on families, the effects of which can stay with an individual for some time.
‘Sadly, break-ins do happen and this study re-enforces the need for greater home security, so it’s really good to hear that the Co-op are raising awareness of this.’
Top 10 deterrents for car thieves
CCTV street camera
Car parked on a driveway
Steering lock device
Neighbourhood Watch areas
Car parked in a dark alleyway
Top 10 deterrents for burglars
Sound of a barking dog
Strong, heavy doors
TV that has been switched on
Locked UPVC windows
Cars parked on driveway
Gates outside the property
Motion-activated security lights