Url: https://www.johnlewispartnership.media/news/jlp/05082022/window-of-opportunity-for-burglars-as-brits-adopt-open-door-policy?brand=jlp

Window of opportunity for burglars as Brits adopt open door policy

  • New research reveals 60% of UK residents leave downstairs windows open
  • Just under half of those surveyed admitting to leaving their back door unlocked
  • Risk of 'walk-in' burglaries increases over the summer, warns Crimestoppers 

New research from John Lewis Home Insurance has found that Brits are leaving themselves wide open to burglars by not locking their windows and doors.  

Almost 60% of the 1,000 UK residents surveyed admitted never locking their downstairs windows, with one in five going on to say they leave their homes with the downstairs windows open.

Almost seven in ten (69%) disclosed that they don’t bother locking their upstairs windows, perhaps because the risk is deemed less, despite warnings from the charity Crimestoppers that they can be a key entry point for burglars. Nearly one third (31%) divulged that they sleep with the bedroom window open in the summer months.

Back doors are another well-known hotspot for burglars, yet 47% of respondents said they don’t lock their back door when going out. 

The potential risks are further heightened with over one in ten (12%) of us keeping ladders out in our gardens, which can provide burglars with an easy access route to the upper floors of our homes.

Crimestoppers warn that the risk of ‘walk-in’ burglaries, where burglars enter through already open windows or doors without needing to ‘break in’, is particularly prevalent during the summer months when we’re keeping more doors and windows open, and spending less time inside our homes. Even if you’re only going out for a few minutes, they advise checking that all doors and windows are properly closed and locked.

James Barwell, Head of Home Insurance, John Lewis Home Insurance, said: “We should always feel safe in our homes and that our belongings are secure. You can significantly reduce your risk by remaining vigilant and locking windows and doors before leaving your home. Not all insurance policies are the same and you should also make sure that your home insurance covers you for thefts that occur where there was no evidence of forcible and violent entry.” 

Ruth McNee, Burglary Lead for the charity Crimestoppers, said “Unfortunately, burglars can often enjoy the summer just as much as the rest of us. With less time spent in our homes, whilst doors and windows are left open, it can create a perfect environment for criminals to strike. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to home security.”

Top home security tips from Crimestoppers: 

  1. If you can, fit burglar alarms with flashing lights and sounders at the front & back of your property

  2. Switch lights or a radio on when you go out

  3. Even if you’re only going out for a few minutes, check that all doors and windows are properly closed and locked

  4. Make sure side and back gates are secure

  5. Don’t leave garden tools outside, keep ladders out of sight  - and ensure sheds, garages and outbuildings are locked

  6. Fit tamper-proof automatic outside security lights

  7. Even when you’re at home, try not to leave accessible windows open at night.

  8. If you’re going away on holiday, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home, take in any milk and newspaper deliveries, and maybe park on your drive

  9. Don’t let yourself become a victim of a Distraction Burglary, where more than one person calls at your door, trying to dupe you into letting one caller in to burgle you whilst you are distracted by another one.


Crimestoppers is independent of the police. The charity takes crime information and promises complete anonymity - no personal details are ever asked for or ever stored. If you know about someone who is responsible for burglaries and you prefer to stay anonymous, please tell Crimestoppers. Visit crimestoppers-uk.org or call the charity’s UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111. Speak up. Stay safe. 

Notes to Editors

*Survey of 1000 UK residents carried out between 20th and 25th May 2022

About the John Lewis Partnership
The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis and Waitrose. Started as a radical experiment over a century ago, the Partnership is now the largest employee-owned business in the UK, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. The Partnership is purpose-driven, existing to create a fairer and more sustainable future for our Partners, customers, suppliers and communities. Our Purpose not only inspires our principles, drives our decisions and acts as our guide to be a force for good, it steers us to do things differently and better - all in service of creating a happier world for everyone and everything we touch.


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