NEWS Security

As COVID-19 forces a UK lockdown, what threats must we consider? How does it affect residential property?

How does it affect residential property?

Our second blog in our series of guidance on ensuring the security of property and the people who use it focuses on residential.

In unprecedented times of social distancing and lockdown across the country due to COVID-19, we need to consider the implications for crime as well as new threats we might face, and plan to mitigate them.

The residential property sector is diverse, from homeowners, to renters and shared properties, and comes with a unique set of challenges.


According to the Met Police ‘Year to Date’ 2018-2019 data, the following reported crimes increased in London alone:

Vehicle Offences          + 9.6 %
Violence against Person + 6.8 %
Burglary + 4.7 %
Robbery + 4.3 %
Drug Offences               + 3.3 %
Theft + 3.2 %
Sexual Offences            + 2.4 %
Public Order                  + 0.5 %


What is a frightening statistic however is the increase in Domestic Abuse.

  1. In the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6 million women and 786,000 men).
  2. The police have recorded 746,219 domestic abuse-related crimes in the year ending March 2019, which was an increase of 24% from 2018.
  3. Only 30% of arrests were made per 100 domestic abuse-related crimes.
  4. Over 75% of domestic abuse-related CPS prosecutions were successful in securing a conviction.
  5. Over 60% of referrals made to independent domestic violence advisor services were made by the police.

Why highlight these statistics?

As we are now self-isolating, spending even more time together under the same roof, there is going to be a higher likelihood of domestic abuse cases contributing to residential crime compared to the likelihood of homes being targeted for theft or other crime. Households that already face the fear of domestic abuse, including men, women and children, may find an increase due to lack of employment, occupant boredom, alcohol dependency, drug addiction, lack of personal space etc.

Remote and invisible threats are also targeting household occupants through Social Media and the new reliance on business / personal video conferencing apps which have vulnerabilities and can be exploited by those trying to gain information about you, or threaten you.

Other Residential threat scenarios include:

  1. Homes being targeted for food stores, money to buy food etc.
  2. Occupants being targeted for scams, knowing they are at home
  3. The vulnerable being targeted due to self-advertisements that they are isolating, require help or at risk.

Just because you are at home, does not stop a burglar trying to steal from you. With warmer temperatures we tend to leave doors and windows open.

Our recommendations:

  • Ensure doors are not answered to those you do not know. Even if they look or pretend to be official health representatives.
  • Give yourself personal space wherever feasible.
  • Ensure your home security is adequate against a likely threat.
  • Wherever feasible, do not advertise your vulnerability. Tell your neighbours verbally instead.
  • Always call 999 (UK) or your country’s emergency number in case of an immediate threat to life / injury.
  • Protect your house and possessions. Ensure all accessible entry points are secure even if you are in.
  • Ensure your Internet enabled devices are secure and you are not exposing yourself to external threats, scams, fraud. Make your children and family aware of the online risks that are increasing at present. Your Smart TVs and ‘Alexa’s are still listening……

The priority for everyone is to stay safe, so please consider your situation and take the steps you need to as soon as you can.

Police.UK advice about residential burglary is available to read here.

CPNI have also produced a useful guidance document about Pandemic Security Behaviours and considerations to take on board during these times:

Download here.

John Green is Head of Security Consultancy for Hilson Moran

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