Brighouse-based Avocet Hardware has come to the rescue of a Mirfield couple after their insurance company stated it would only replace locks that had been snapped by burglars with like-for-like replacements – a settlement that meant their home would have been left at as much risk as it was before the burglary.
Mark Davies and Ruth Harrison had their home broken into and ransacked by burglars using the increasingly popular lock-snapping form of forced entry on Saturday 22nd March and a host of prized possessions stolen, including Ruth’s £8,000 Mini Cooper.
Avocet, which is actively campaigning for the scale of the lock-snapping problem in the UK to be officially recognised and properly tackled, read of Mark and Ruth’s plight in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner and quickly offered to upgrade their home to its ABS snap-secure locks. At the time Mark was dealing with his insurance company and assumed the settlement would see their home being fitted with locks that would withstand any future lock-snapping attack.
“Ruth and I knew next to nothing about lock-snapping before the burglary, but did our research straight afterwards and we were staggered to discover the sheer scale of the problem,” he said.
“I was even more astonished when our insurance company said the locks they would fit would be the exact same ones that the burglars had snapped so easily in the first place.”
Lock-snapping is now one of the most popular means of forced entry into UK homes, with some police forces estimating that it accounts for over 50 per cent of all break-ins.
The problem, according to Raymond Pearce of Avocet Hardware is that not enough people are aware of the issue and so millions of homes across the UK are unwittingly at risk of a lock-snapping attack.
“Lock-snapping simply hasn’t been given the kind of prominence it needs to bring it to the public’s attention and so burglars have been making hay while the vast majority of us have been left in the dark,” he said.
“Thankfully, things are changing, as can be seen by recent features about the topic on ITV1’s This Morning and BBC1’s Watchdog Test House, but this alone won’t turn the tide.”
“We need a concerted campaign, involving the police, the national media, insurance companies and politicians, to inform the British public of the danger and let everyone decide for themselves if they want to take steps to properly secure their homes.”
Raymond went on to explain that there is currently a host of snap-secure locks on the market, but that many don’t meet either of the recognised standards that ensure a product can claim to be snap-secure.
“Homeowners seeking a snap-secure lock for their home need to ensure the lock they are buying has, at the bare minimum, a BSI TS007 3-star rating. Although we would advise them to look for products that meet Sold Secure’s SS312 Diamond accreditation – this is the toughest and most frequently updated lock-snapping standard and a product that has passed it will stand-up to lock-snapping attack.”
Mark added: “I’m extremely angry that it took our home being burgled and our possessions stolen for us to find out the truth about lock-snapping and only hope that our story can prevent others falling victim to this kind of burglary.
Mark and Ruth’s locks were upgraded to Avocet’s ABS snap-secure lock by Andy Townend of Huddersfield-based, Doortique and Sean Hellawell of Huddersfield Lock & Key Centre.
To find out more about lock-snapping and how to securely upgrade your home visit www.homesecurityandsafety.co.uk.