You might think we’re talking about distraction burglaries, where one or more burglars work to gain access to your home through the front door, distracting you with a question or posing as a legitimate visitor (perhaps to read the meter), while they and/or their accomplice rob you. Distraction burglaries are a real problem, as it is quite common for someone to come and read the meter, or ask for your help and by appealing to your better nature, burglars abuse this trust to get in your home and steal whatever they can.
Although distraction burglaries do involve you inviting a burglar in, we’re talking about inviting someone into your home that you know is a burglar. Why on earth would anyone do that? Well, if the burglar in question is a reformed character, you would do well to listen to their advice on your home security.
There have been a few trials of schemes like this across the country and the latest is in Ayrshire, where a security company is recruiting ex-burglars to their team with a view to using their unique mind-set and skills to improve home and business security. Most of the population doesn’t look at a building and think about how to get in unnoticed, but a burglar does. It’s the first part of any burglary and therefore almost hardwired into a burglar’s brain to view properties as a challenge. It’s this unique way of thinking that makes ex-burglars so good at providing advice and consultancy about home and business security.
All the ex-offenders recruited to the scheme are background checked to ensure they aren’t still active in the criminal world. Many of them have spent a lot of time in prison, thinking about what direction they want to take when they’re finally free. Often, serial burglars have done little else in the way of work, so it’s hard for them to find a proper job that uses their skills when they leave prison; schemes like this provide them with an opportunity to work legitimately and stop them returning to a life of crime.
These ex-burglars visit customers in their homes and cast their expert eye over the existing security measures, as well as weaknesses that most of us would overlook. It’s quite common for people to ignore things that burglars look for, such as unlocked outbuildings containing tools and ladders they can borrow to break in, good places to hide, or excellent escape routes. It’s for this reason that inviting an ex-burglar round will safely show you where you can improve on your security measures, giving you the chance to remedy these weak spots before they’re exploited by an active burglar.
So, we can see that there are limited occasions on which you might invite a burglar in, and that these instances will stop you inadvertently inviting an active criminal into your home.