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A third of break-in victims suffer from anxiety

ADT Security ‘Secure Homes Report’ reveals the true cost of a break in; identity theft among top concerns

The impact of a burglary far surpasses the cost of replacing stolen items or damaged property, as research by ADT Security reveals break-ins cause anxiety in 34% of victims.

The inaugural Secure Homes Report, which surveyed 2000 homeowners and renters in both metropolitan and regional Australia, also reveals that 40% of victims experienced reduced trust levels, 16% experienced sleeping problems and 8% were no longer able to be at home alone following break-in or burglary.

“A home break-in can be a frightening and emotional experience for any homeowner or tenant”, said Mark Norton, Managing Director of ADT Security Australia. “Not only do those affected have to bear the cost of replacing stolen goods and fixing breakages, victims also report feelings of insecurity, violation and anger. Furthermore, many stolen items are irreplaceable or of sentimental value, adding to their emotional distress.”

Those affected by a break-in know that burglars don’t just steal belongings; they can steal a person’s identity. Although theft and vandalism to property are key concerns for 62% of respondents, almost an equal number (60%) highlight the possibility of identity fraud as a major concern.

With people storing more and more personal information at home and on personal laptops, the opportunity for identity theft is increasing. Respondents identified personal records (75%) and personal computers/laptops (69%) as the two items they would be most concerned about being stolen. Gen Y is most concerned about the theft of their personal computer/laptop (74%).

Jewellery (28%), cash (33%) and home theatre equipment (22%), typically viewed as the most attractive items for burglars to steal, featured much further down the list.

According to the research, the majority of Australians are aware of the need for home security, with 93% utilising the trusted lock and key approach. Typically, more advanced solutions were used by those who have previously been the victim of a break-in.

“It’s the case of once bitten, twice shy, with 65% of break-in victims reporting they upgraded their security measures following an incident”, said Mark.

As an additional measure, he recommends homeowners and renters consider a monitored home alarm system.

“Monitored alarms have been shown to be one of the most effective home security measures as they act as a visual deterrent, help to offer a high level of protection and give people confidence that they will receive a professional response to an activated alarm - whether they are at home or not.

“Traditionally, wired alarm security systems were a preferred option for people who own their own home, however, there are now also portable, IP based, wireless monitored alarm systems available for renters and the fast growing number of households without fixed landlines.”