Own homes more secure

By far most people in the Netherlands have taken measures to prevent burglary, mostly in the form of safety locks and bolts on outside doors and exterior lighting. In 2002 82 percent of the population had safety locks or bolts, up from 75 percent ten years previously. The share of people with exterior lighting also increased: from 67 percent in the beginning of the nineties to 77 percent in 2002. Only 6 percent of the population reported that they had taken no measures to prevent their home being broken into.

Prevention measures, 1992 and 2002

More prevention in own homes

Some two percent of home owners say they have no special provisions to deter burglars. For tenants of rented homes this is significantly higher at 12 percent. To a greater or lesser extent this difference is visible for each of the separate measures. Owner occupiers are especially more likely to have exterior lighting and an alarm.

Provisions by own or rented home, 2002

Neighbours and relatives keep an eye on things during holidays

People who are away from home for an extended period can take extra measures. They are most likely to turn to neighbours or relatives; eight out ten of the population ask their neighbours or a relative to keep an eye on things when they are away on holiday. Four out of ten keep a light on when they are away and about half the population put valuable items away.

Measures during holidays by own home or rented home, 2002

Home owners take more measures

During periods of absence, home owners are more likely to take measures against burglary than tenants of rented homes. Only 1 percent take no measures. Fifteen percent of owner occupiers have a house sitter compared with 10 percent of tenants. Owners are also more likely to ask neighbours and relatives to keep an eye on things, to keep a light on and to put away valuable items.

Risk of burglary

So, people take all sorts of measure to deter burglars. But how at risk do they think they are of actually being burgled in the next twelve months? In 2002, 5.5 percent of home owners thought they had a high risk of being burgled, compared with 6.7 percent of tenants. However, whether someone is afraid of being burgled depends not only on prevention measures but also on the location (large or small municipality) and type of the dwelling (apartment, terraced or detached house), and even on the characteristics of the resident (sex, age).

Miranda de Vree