Home video doorbells with motion sensors allow homeowners to monitor who approaches their home and ward off potential intruders. But research has found the devices could instead be an “affluence cue” and increase the likelihood of your home being targeted.
Mark Hall, from Divert.co.uk, said criminals are also using Google Maps to assess “CCTV blind spots” and the best access points into a house.
With burglars becoming savvier, security experts advise increasing deterrents, with many homeowners now using home-CCTV cameras and smart doorbells to monitor their properties when they are away.
However, this relies on the homeowner being able to monitor their properties and respond should a potential burglary attempt occur.
Robin Knox, CEO of Boundary, told Express.co.uk: “It is impractical to monitor your home 24/7.
“Professional monitoring has always been a part of the security industry but the technology hasn’t caught up to professional standards.
“You are more than likely to have a recording of somebody in a mask breaking into your home. Unfortunately, at a very low likelihood of being solved as a crime”.
Mr Knox, who has worked with former burglars to learn about the tricks they use when targeting houses, said: “A lot of the burglars I’ve dealt with steal tools on-site to break into houses. If they want to get in, they’ll get in.”
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Similarly, research from Cranfield University found that smart doorbells, which are connected to the internet and use video to show homeowners who’s calling, were unlikely to have a “significant effect on residential burglary”.
The devices are designed to improve security, but researchers at Cranfield University said they gave “affluence cues” to a homeowner’s standard of living, adding: “Experienced burglars use these to identify properties with potentially more high-value items.”
That’s why he said having a video doorbell system that doesn’t rely solely on the homeowner monitoring their property, but one that also alerts the police, is important.
He said: “An alarm system from a brand that burglars know is synonymous with a police response, will show there is a higher risk of breaking into that house.
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“Research shows that if you have a system that is not a professional brand, and more of a DIY brand, then that is likely to increase your chances of burglary because thieves know that there is no response associated with it. and they know that there is likely something a person wants to protect in there.”
However, Mr Knox commented: “It goes the other way, and if you have a professionally installed system, that has a police response, it’s a higher risk and criminals are going to look for an easier target, essentially.”
He added: “The same can be applied to ring doorbells in the way that it is a piece of equipment that is DIY and there’s no response.
“They can easily be covered up, and might not be obvious a burglary is taking place. The batteries could be taken out and then the homeowner won’t really know what’s going on at that point.”