Buglary Stats (and more Miranda, no-spy agreements)

Security news seems to be getting progressively worse, faster. I’m reminded of a quote: “There’s always an alien battle cruiser, or a Korilian death ray… or an intergalactic plague about to wipe out life on this planet.” –Tommy Lee Jones, “Men In Black”

Serious threats are the norm, not the exception. Don’t Panic. Life always seems to manage to keep on going.

Where was I?

Right, buglary statistics. The British Office for National Statistics has an interesting report on UK property crime. From a security view, burglary is naturally the most interesting section. What can we learn?

For one thing, even the most basic security measures are hugely valuable. 6% of households experienced a burglary within the previous year… if they had no security or “less than basic” security. But only 1% of households with “basic or enhanced” security experienced a burglary.

That’s a sixfold difference, just for spending a couple of quid!

And indeed it is the simplest measures that make the biggest difference. According to the numbers, window locks had the greatest impact. (Perhaps unsprisingly, the people who could least afford to spend on security were also those who benefited from it the most.)

Also noteworthy is the psychology involved. Burglary produced on average more of an emotional response from victims, even more than having their car stolen or being robbed. But simply having something stolen while out and about produced the least.

Miranda: Looking at the narrative of the BuzzFeed journalist being followed… There’s more to this than meets the eye, I think. There’s no way you could overhear the conversation on a dance floor, no reason to follow that close and risk being blown if eavesdropping is your goal. And “we’re watching you” surveillance-intimidation doesn’t make much sense when a journalist is around, it just underscores the credibility of spying allegations.

“A thin white man in his mid-thirties with birdy lips, piss-water blonde hair, and uncool jeans follows us out the door. Miranda and I bullshit with some fellow revelers on the patio: a pudgy art dealer, a redhead, and a bespectacled line cook who has a “thing” for Rhoda Morgenstern. The man with the bird lips lingers close by. Miranda, 28, dusky, pillow mouthed, chiseled, with dark wine eyes, is too fine a specimen not to be cruised tonight, but Bird Lips is standing a little too close and appears, by the jutting of his chin and the self-conscious tilt of his head, to be eavesdropping on our conversation.

Miranda and I shoot each other a wary glance and move back inside. Just as we are about to lose ourselves in a Cher dubstep-banger, Bird Lips perches behind us, unmoving, and begins to stare. We traverse the dance floor; he follows.[…]

Miranda whips around, squares his shoulders, thrusts his face to Bird Lips’ ear, and demands to know: “What are you doing? Are you following us?” Bird Lips gets ruffled and bolts out of the club not to be seen again.”


No-spy agreements aren’t worth the electrons they’re printed on. http://freesnowden.is/2013/11/20/collection-processing-and-dissemination-of-allied-communications/index.html


“Since 1994, the CSEW has measured household use of home security devices. The proportion of households using them has increased over the same period that burglary incidents have decreased, supporting the theory that wider use of more and better home security has contributed to this drop (Tilley et al., 2011). […]

Although it is likely that improvements in the quality and effectiveness of security devices on the market over this period will have had an impact on rates of victimisation, it is also likely that other factors contributed to the dramatic fall in burglary during the latter half of the 1990s.[…]

Analysis of the 2011/12 CSEW shows that 6% of households with no or less than basic1 home security were victims of burglary in the previous 12 months compared with 1% of households with basic or enhanced security2.[…]

The security measure with the biggest percentage point difference between those who were and were not burgled was window locks. Fifty per cent of those who were burgled had them compared with 88% of those who were not. Research by Tilley et al., (2011) shows that enhanced security confers the greatest burglary protection for those who can least afford it, for example in deprived areas.[…]

Sixty per cent of burglaries took place in the evening or night and over half (56%) took place when there was someone at home. Offenders gained entry to the property from the front of the household in 54% of burglaries and from the back in 40% of burglaries. The most common form of entry was through a door (73%) and in 27% of these incidents, the lock was forced. This form of entry has been the most common since the survey began measuring method of entry.[…]

The CSEW asks victims of crime to say whether they were emotionally affected by the incident. In 85% of burglary incidents, the respondent said that they were emotionally affected, and almost a third of those (30%) said that they had been very emotionally affected.

The most common type of emotional reaction experienced by victims of burglary was anger (50% of victims) followed by annoyance (40%). Almost a third of victims said that they experienced feelings of fear (29%) and/or a loss of confidence or feelings of vulnerability (28%). A significantly higher proportion of victims of burglary experienced feelings of fear and/or anxiety or panic attacks in the 2011/12 CSEW compared with the 2003/04 CSEW (29% in 2011/12 compared with 23% in 2003/04 for feelings of fear; 17% in 2011/12 compared with 12% in 2003/04 for feelings of anxiety or panic attacks).”


“With the exception of robbery, property crime, by definition, does not result in physical injury to the victim. However, the emotional impact can still be considerable for victims. Figure 1.7 shows that victims of burglary were the most likely to say that they had been very emotionally affected by the crime (30% of victims). In contrast, 9% of victims of other household theft, which is mainly theft of garden furniture and items from outside the home and therefore less likely to involve an invasion of privacy, said that they had been very emotionally affected by the incident.”

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