All Press Releases for November 22, 2008

Virgin Money is Urging People to Improve Home Security

Virgin Money warns that plans to stop sending burglars to jail risks increasing householders' fear of crime and may prompt more people to take the law into their own hands, despite the recent drop in burglaries.

    NORWICH, ENGLAND, November 22, 2008 /24-7PressRelease/ -- An announcement by the Justice Secretary that homeowners have the right to use force against criminals who break into their property has raised further concerns that people will ignore security measures in favour of tackling burglars with force once in the property.

Home Office figures* show the number of burglaries has dropped dramatically in recent years, with experts claiming much of the decline attributed to tougher court sentencing.

However the independent Sentencing Advisory Panel has recommended that burglars should be given more lenient sentences and also suggested criminals sent to prison for less than a year be let off with a community punishment instead.

Virgin Money is urging people to improve security measures and put adequate home insurance in place to protect themselves against burglars rather than taking the law into their own hands.

Its research** shows more than one in six homeowners keep a weapon close to their bed at night in case of intruders, while 92 per cent claimed they would be prepared to physically defend their home against intruders and burglars. The research also shows that 87 per cent believe the law is weighted in favour of criminals, a factor even more prevalent following the recent Sentencing Advisory Panel suggestions.

When it comes to security only a meagre 17 per cent of people have an alarm and only 37 per cent of people have window locks and just four per cent are members of Neighbourhood Watch schemes. And it is estimated around 22 per cent of people have no contents insurance while 38 per cent have no buildings insurance.

Householders can increase their security and cut their insurance bills by taking a number of simple steps, Virgin Money advises.

- Get an intruder alarm.
- Lock all doors when you leave the property - for any length of time.
- Install window locks.
- Install a safe, and have it screwed to the floor.
- Become a member of the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
- Don't leave valuable items on view.
- Make sure potential points of entry are well lit.
- Make a list of everything in your property and keep in a safe place, or at a relatives address. Whether CDs, jewellery, contents of your garage or cupboards keep an itinerary in case the worst does happen.
- Ensure you have adequate home and contents insurance.
- Leave a visible light on if you leave the property in the evening.

Grant Bather, spokesperson at Virgin Money said: "The fear is that softer sentencing for burglars or the announcement by the Justice Secretary will encourage people to take the law into their own hands. The reality is that burglary rates are coming down and that fear of crime is often a bigger risk than crime itself.

Relying on insurance and simple security measures are the best ways to protect yourself and give peace of mind."



**conducted 2005.

About Virgin Money

Virgin Money is Virgin's financial services arm and was established in 1995. - Virgin Money has over two million customers and offers a wide range of financial products across lending (e.g. credit cards and personal loans), savings (e.g. deposits, investments and pensions) and protection (e.g. life insurance, home insurance and car insurance) to the UK market.

Virgin Money Personal Financial Service Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered office: Discovery House, Whiting Road, Norwich NR4 6EJ. Registered in England No. 3072766. Entered on the Financial Services Authority's register number 179271.

Source: Virgin Money

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Contact Information

Grant Bather
Virgin Money
Norwich, Norwich
United Kingdom
Voice: 01603215909
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