Are The Days Of The Dummy Deterrent Numbered?

I ask this question because unusually I have seen three of my local clients (this includes myself) targetted by thieves, since the start of this year. In each of these cases the thieves left empty handed because the security system that we installed was fully operational. So as soon as the burglars attempted to enter the protected area, all hell breaks loose, scaring them off before they get a chance to grab anything. Let me be absolutely clear about one thing, GuardHome does not sell and install dummy systems! We also eliminate false alarms, by working with our clients to identify and eradicate possible sources of false alarms and then encourage our clients to use their security systems at all times. Finally we maintain the systems in tip top condition, this is all part of what we call #GuardHomeSafe.

It begs the question, “do we have a new breed of burglars who are prepared to “take a chance” even if they see evidence of a security system installed?” If so then there are a number of properties out there whose only line of defence is a dummy siren cover or camera that they have acquired. Like investments, past history is no guarantee of future performance, in which case your dummies are about to be exposed for what they are!

I am often asked why we still install bell boxes, after all no one takes any notice of alarms going off, unless they become a public nuisance! In the past I would have answered that there is one group that pays attention to bell boxes, and that is the burglars themselves. So a property that clearly displays a proper branded bell box was less likely to be hit.

The current evidence is starting to suggest that this is no longer a sufficient deterrent. This image shows Old Harlow’s Victoria Hall

Victoria Hall Old Hall

Victoria Hall Old Hall

Our clean bright and fully operational bell box is in clear line of sight above the door that the burglars tried to force to gain entry! It has flashing LED’s so I find it hard to believe┬áthat the thieves could have overlooked it? I re-iterate the bell box triggered as soon as the door was crow-barred open, which caused the thieves to disappear into the night empty handed, so there is still merit in having a fully operating external siren.

The case of my own property is slightly more complicated, as the thieves were targetting my van, or at least its contents. It was parked on my drive as usual under the glow of my wired siren and the infra-red led’s of a substantial PTZ camera, which as this picture shows was pointing directly at my van!

The Face Of A Van Thief

The Face Of A Van Thief

Of course the van thieves would not have known that we have sensors installed in all of our vans that are linked to our respective house alarms! Even though they are able to override the van’s own alarm with relative ease, they do not have the capability to turn off the house alarm. So again as soon as they tried to enter, the whole house alarm would be triggered, causing them to scarper tout suite. One thing for sure is they certainly could not miss the great big hi-definition camera lens pointing at them! One of them was even sufficiently vain to give a full head-on shot for the Police!

This leads me to the conclusion that we are seeing a shift in the thinking of the criminal. Perhaps there are too many dummy and non operational security systems out there, that they now think that their odds of detection are sufficiently low to ignore the external evidence before their eyes? As professionals in our trade it is important that we try to understand the way in which our foes think so we can counteract their actions and continue to protect. At GuardHome we constantly evaluate the threat and adapt to the changes that we observe.

If you are one of the many people out there whose only form of deterrent is a dummy or non operational security system, then perhaps it is time for you to re-think this strategy, in the face of the evidence presented in this blog.