Kiwis say New Zealand is becoming more dangerous, with over a third of us having been burgled, and many battling long-term psychological damage following a break-in, according to new research.
The Vivint survey found that two-thirds (68%) of people believe living in New Zealand is less safe and burglaries have a long-term negative impact on their victims.
Of the one-third of respondents who said they had been burgled, more than a fifth (21%) said it took them ‘some time’ to feel safe again following the crime, while more than 220,000 New Zealanders (5%) said they have never been able to feel secure in their house again.
For some Kiwis, a burglary continues to affect them years down the track and even after moving, with over one-third (38%) of that group admitting they have never felt safe in any other house following the incident.
However, despite New Zealanders’ growing concerns over safety, the majority of us are lax when it comes to home security. Around six out of 10 respondents said they do not have a home security system installed in their current home, and a further sixth (17%) have a home security system but do not always turn it on when they leave the house empty.
Many of those surveyed said they still only take basic security measures at night, with two-thirds (63%) saying they usually only lock doors and windows after dark while they are at home. More than 300,000 Kiwis also admit they usually don’t lock up at all, day or night.
A more safety-conscious 29% say they always lock doors and windows when they are at home, regardless of the time of day, which is something former police officer and Vivint general manager Marsden Hulme says is becoming more common following reports of daytime ‘opportunist’ break-ins.
“During my experience in the police force, we often came across situations where thieves had capitalised on an open front door, bedroom window or garage door.
“This is particularly common if high-value items are in a position where they are easy to spot, such as laptops, smartphones, cameras, tools and jewellery left in plain sight and close to unsecured doors and windows.”
Hulme says it’s hard to overestimate the feeling of being safe in your home, or knowing your valuable possessions are safe when you are not home.