A survey of 76 known adult burglars in Rochdale, published by the Home Office Crime Prevention Unit in 1988, found that:

Using the information above, you are asked to make recommendations to the local Neighbourhood Watch group about ‘target-hardening’ measures to prevent burglary in your area. What recommendations would you make? As a group, put together a plan of action.


  1. 85% burgled properties only within 5 miles of home; 77% of burglars had walked to the target house; 25% knew the occupants.
  2. Most forced a window or door to enter the premises but most did not break glass.
  3. More than half stated they would be deterred by signs of occupancy, a visible burglar alarm or high visibility at the point of entry. More than half checked by ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door.
  4. Less than 20% of burglaries took place during the midnight to 8 am period. A third of all the burglaries took place between noon and 6 pm.
  5. Meter cash and audio-video equipment were the items most often taken.
  6. 70% of points of entry were visible to neighbours but only 35% to passers-by.
  7. When asked why they thought the victimised house had been chosen, 40% of
    1. Neighbours suggested it was ‘obvious’.
    2. Low actual or apparent occupancy was suggested by neighbours in 47% of the reasons.
    3. 22% specified meter cash or video equipment as attractive targets.
    4. A further 14% specified victim characteristics, either in terms of vulnerability or lifestyle.
  8. The survey indicated how important neighbours and victims could be in watching out for each others’ homes.