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Every minute of every day, someone, somewhere is getting burgled.
Doesn't sound good.
With an average of 92 break-ins an hour, it's a huge problem.
It never ceases to amaze me
how much mess these burglars cause for people.
For the victims of these crimes,
it can take months or even years to overcome the trauma.
He was in my house and he shouldn't have been.
It's emotional, isn't it?
It is emotional, yeah. I'm having a lot of palpitations today.
It's just... It's heartbreaking.
But in this series we're fighting back against the burgle...
Police forcing entry. Police.
..helping you to beef up your security...
Here we go.
..while the police catch the criminals.
We can be safe. Thank you.
This is Break-in Britain - The Crackdown.
Hello. Today we're helping Nellie, a genuinely lovely lady.
That's right. Nellie's 95 years old
and her home was completely ransacked by burglars
while she was away having respite care.
It left her daughter to pick up the pieces.
I think they're just looking for things that they can easily
-put in their pockets.
-They don't know what they're doing, do they?
Making a mess like this.
And I'm with a houseful of students who were burgled
-while they were all at home.
-I can't believe that, did they take much?
Only the things that students are most attached to.
When you've got eight people living as we have in this house,
we've got eight laptops, eight phones, eight of everything.
In a suburb of East Leeds is the home of 95-year-old Nellie.
She and her husband Jack moved in in 1952.
Together they raised their daughter Elaine in the house
but Jack passed away nine years ago and Nellie now lives alone.
Nellie's daughter Elaine comes over each day to have a catch-up
over a cup of tea.
On today's agenda, a card game that didn't go in Nellie's favour.
-Did you have a nice day out?
-Yes, it was nice.
-It was good and you got...
-Yeah, but the same lady won every time.
-It were her card come up every time, nobody else won.
-You can't win if you don't get cards.
With the help of a team of carers and her family,
she's able to stay in her own home with all her memories around her.
But today, the news Elaine has to give her mum isn't good.
Her home has been burgled.
Nellie has just got back from two weeks in respite care.
It was Elaine that discovered the mess.
I come around and clean everything away, make sure...
Because it's easy to do when she's not in and I felt really good
that I've done a good job and then today it's like this.
Like I said, as soon as I pulled up and the curtains were drawn,
I knew something was wrong.
PC Dave Masters from West Yorkshire Police needs to take
a statement but Nellie's memory isn't what it used to be.
She just says she wishes she could thump them.
-That's what she said to me.
-Oh, bless her.
PC Masters and his colleagues deal with hundreds of burglaries
every year that involve elderly people.
Unfortunately, he's no stranger to dealing with incidents like this.
How long has she lived at the address? If you don't mind me asking.
Before I chat with Nellie and Elaine,
I want to find out how the burglars managed to get into the house
when the family thought it was securely locked up.
So, Dave, this is where the burglars broke in, isn't it?
That's right, the handle of this rear patio door has been ripped off
and the Euro profile lock has been broken on the side.
There is still actually a little bit of broken lock inside there.
It's been snapped.
These are notoriously bad for doing that, aren't they?
They are, yeah, I mean, you need...indoors like this,
anti-snap locks but, I mean, it is really common for this thing
to happen, for them to snap and to be able to gain entry into the property.
Upstairs, it's clear the burglars had enough time
to go in all of the bedrooms.
It must make you pretty angry when this happens to anybody,
but particularly to vulnerable people.
Yeah, I mean, due to the age of the person,
it's even worse, in my opinion.
This lady quite clearly has had jewellery taken from here
and obviously that's what they've been looking for, I think.
-These people have no heart, do they?
-Not really, no.
It's so upsetting to see Nellie's things treated so badly.
It's understandable that Elaine doesn't want her to come upstairs.
-This is the second bedroom of the three.
Yeah, the whole room has been ransacked.
-They've just pulled everything out, haven't they?
-That's right, yeah,
drawers from underneath the bed as well as wardrobes and cupboards as well.
And they've pulled back the bed.
What on earth are they looking for in the beds?
People keep things underneath their beds such as cash, money,
other sort of personal items.
That's one of the things that they sort of look for as well, really.
It's no surprise.
They're generally just pulling everything out in the mad attempt
to find something that they can take away and sell.
That's right, yeah, sort of, as you can see, purses there and
sort of jewellery box and things. Anything that can be sold on.
They've had no regard for anyone here, have they?
Other than themselves.
No, the people who do this, they've got no thought of the victim at all,
which is why we take it really seriously.
Elaine can't tidy up yet, they have to wait for
the scene-of-crime officer to come and look for evidence.
Back downstairs, Nellie's finishing lunch.
Do you want to ask this man anything?
Luckily the break-in hasn't affected her appetite.
Nellie, you've been away and you've come back to all this mess.
Yeah, I couldn't believe it. I were upset.
I said, well, I can't believe it.
It's such a mess, though.
I don't know what they're after. Do they think we're well off?
Well, there're probably looking for something that you've not got.
-We haven't left any money about, have we?
Does it make you cross?
Well, of course it did. It upset me, I couldn't believe it.
I don't know what they're after. Just money, I think.
I don't know whether it's kids, grown-ups, I don't know.
-I think it's somebody what's wrong in the head, isn't they?
-He must be silly.
-They don't know what they're doing, do they?
-Making a mess like this.
-It must be horrible to see your mum like this.
It absolutely is, because she doesn't know what to think,
she doesn't know what to do.
You know, it's just a mess and, like you said,
they've ransacked all the drawers and the cupboards to find nothing
because I don't think there's been much around.
I think they're just looking for things
that they can easily put in their pockets, nothing that's big.
An old lady doesn't have a phone or a computer or anything,
iPad, anything like that, do they?
Nellie now finds her jewellery uncomfortable,
so she leaves it on display to look at instead.
Some pieces were expensive gifts from her late husband Jack.
Items which can never be replaced.
And do we know what's been taken? You mentioned some jewellery.
I know she had a ring upstairs on the dressing table,
on a ring slot, because I moved it and dusted it yesterday.
So it was definitely there.
And as for her purse, she just had
probably up to £30 in it, a few notes and some change
because we don't leave a lot of money in the house.
The security of the house could be upgraded a little bit
and the policeman's said the same. We would like to do that for you.
We'd like to get our security guy to come round,
take a look at the property, see what he can do to upgrade it
and make it safer for you,
so that you feel happy about your mum being here.
I think that's what she needs and it would be helpful for me to know,
you know, she's more secure in her house.
I'm going to get PC Masters to have a look at security here,
so this can't happen again.
Once we know where the weaknesses are, we can get them fixed up.
You've had a little look round the property at the windows,
the doors, what do you think of the security here?
She's got two sets of doors going into the property.
I think these are quite sort of old locks, really,
they don't look like they've been changed for a while.
They could do with being checked just to make sure
that they're anti-snap, three-style locks, basically.
There's no alarm, CCTV either, security lights,
there's no motion sensors inside the property.
You can see through the property from the front all the way
through to the back to see if anybody's in.
What marks out of ten would you give this property for security?
Maybe give it sort of a four.
The doors were locked. However, the entry was gained from
an internal door which wasn't locked and there's no alarm, as you say.
So lots we can do to improve security.
General improvements to the property, I would say.
I'm going to get straight on to our security guru, Neil Goldup.
-Hello, Neil speaking.
-Hello, Neil, it's Keeley here.
Hello. We're at the house of an elderly lady that's had a break-in
and it would be really good if we could get some things upgraded today
so that her family feel safe about leaving her to stay here tonight.
-You're not free, are you?
-Yeah, of course.
Yeah, yeah, of course, send me the details
and I'll get round there straight away for you.
Super, we'll see you soon, good man. Thank you, bye-bye.
-Neil, thank you for coming so quickly.
-That's no problem.
Right, I've briefed you on what's happened at the house.
Obviously, the lock's been snapped really quickly.
They've got double glazing but that's pretty much it.
And I know you've been thinking about what you can do.
Yes, yes, if we have a look round the back
and start with a lock, making it secure.
In 27% of burglaries, thieves get in by forcing the door open.
Let's get started by installing some new, safer locks.
Totally snapped, then.
Yeah, you'll see the weak point is the part in the middle.
Holds it all together.
And many hands make light work, so pass a drill, Neil,
and I'll get cracking.
Just one more thing, which way is it when you...?
That's to take them out.
I'm not very good at this.
OK, you can come.
There you go, the muscles has done it. Well done.
Right, the moment of truth.
Yes, get in!
250 miles away in South Wales, it's party time.
Wednesday night is student night in Swansea.
The bars are rammed with people taking up offers of cheap drinks.
At the same time, properties are left empty
and security isn't always at the front of revellers' minds.
The morning after the night before and a 999 call
is being made to South Wales Police.
Swansea is home to more than 20,000 university students.
Most live in halls during their first year
and then move out into residential areas of the city.
Unfortunately, students are prime targets for burglars wanting
to bag themselves the latest electronic equipment.
This morning, 20-year-old Rhiannon woke up to find
her 50-inch TV had been stolen.
It was in the kitchen of the three-storey house
she shares with seven other students.
This morning we came down
and noticed that the television wasn't there.
Obviously many people had been out for student night
but we didn't actually think anything would happen.
The back door was left open
and, obviously, someone had come in from the back and taken it.
It was a very heavy TV,
so I'm quite shocked at how someone could have done that.
But there's more bad news. Rhiannon was only borrowing the TV.
It was my dad's.
He watches rugby on it down in the summer house,
so he's probably not going to be best keen about it,
but I think it's all right. It's not the best, but still.
Rather that than anyone else got hurt.
Rhiannon's housemates have got out of bed to check
if anything else was stolen and to chat about the crime.
They obviously panicked, because it happened in the student village last year.
They tell us Wednesday nights, student night,
that's when people go round looking for places that are unlocked,
things to steal, so...
It's an alleyway out there. They know these are student houses,
so they must just go along looking in and seeing
if something's open and just see what they can take.
It seems the burglars got lucky last night.
There was a major flaw in their security that made things
very easy for them indeed.
Because so many people go in and out of the property, because it's
student night, I think people just forget whether you put it on or not.
-The front door was locked up...
-The front door's always locked.
..but the back door, we kind of forget.
Officers from South Wales Police have arrived.
It appears half of the students were in at the time of the burglary
and half were out.
Obviously, with it being Wednesday night, they were out partying.
The person, obviously at this time we don't know who it is,
has come through this back lane here.
Unfortunately, the rear door is unlocked.
Once inside the kitchen area,
they've managed to disconnect the television which obviously belongs to
one of the students and they've also stolen
one or two other items from there.
They've probably been in and out in seconds
before anyone would have noticed.
Students are four times more likely to make a claim
on their home insurance after a burglary. It's becoming clear why.
When you've got eight people living, as we have in this house, you've got
eight laptops, eight phones, eight of everything.
The scene-of-crime officer has found some prints on the back door.
Each student needs to be fingerprinted to eliminate them
from the enquiry.
For most students, it's the first time they've lived away from home.
There's often lots more exciting things to do
than basic housekeeping.
Keeping themselves and their possessions safe
can be low on the agenda.
With it being multi-occupancy and a lot of people living together,
it can be someone else's problem to lock the door.
Locking the door isn't the most important thing on their mind
when they're all enjoying together.
I think they've learned from this experience.
It's all laughing and joking at the moment but I think
when they go to bed tonight, I think it will sink in and I think
they will learn but unfortunately it's taken this for that to happen.
As PC Raybould predicted, in the kitchen, the mood is changing.
There is no curtain there and how did they know
there's a TV in the corner?
Unless they were in the house or they had been staring at us
through the windows then... It's really creepy.
I'm never coming upstairs again. Ever.
We do come downstairs at night to get a cuppa, don't we?
If I came down and something like that would have happened,
I would have...
You find a man down here carrying your tea and you're like,
"OK, I'll just back away slowly."
Bit of an eye-opener, I guess.
South Wales police run operations at the start of each term
to crack down on crime in student areas,
but locking the door is something these guys really must start doing.
What we are going to do now,
we're going to do some house-to-house to just see if anyone has seen
or heard anything. Make sure that one person, if possible,
locks the door. Make sure the door is locked every night, all right?
Because what may happen is that once they have done it once,
they may well come back, all right?
And things get even worse
when one of the students realises his beer has been nicked!
He's more upset that they took his last beer...
They are despicable!
Back in West Yorkshire, I am helping 95-year-old Nellie.
She arrived back home after respite care to find burglars
had broken into her house.
She is vulnerable and her family are worried about
whether she can continue living on her own.
PC Dave Masters has told us where the gaps are in her security
and Neil has come to bring things up to date.
First job, he is going to fit a passive infrared motion sensor alarm.
How I'll set this up is, it is connected to your phone line,
so if anybody comes in and trips this PIR,
what it will do is it will set off a high-pitched alarm,
but what it will also do, it will bring up to five different people
to notify you that it has been set off.
It is a very simple device.
Also, in the conservatory, what I will do, I'll put these in.
What it is is an invisible beam that shoots across.
This will be inside the conservatory somewhere so that if anybody
comes in and breaks that beam, a high-pitched sound will set off.
Nellie doesn't like to open the door to strangers,
so we're going to fit an intercom so she can see who is there.
Ones like this can be picked up for around £150 at electronics shops.
-It is, yeah. It is quite good.
So if anybody comes up, presses that bell...
-This is on the inside of the house.
-So you can see my face.
See your ugly mug on there. Would we let him in?
-So if you go into the room now...
..I can talk to you and I should be able to hear you.
-Hello, Keeley, can you hear me?
-I can hear you, Neil.
-You're not coming in, though.
-You'll have to do the rest of the stuff.
My tools are in there, so I'm off.
It's all right, you can come straight back in, it's fine.
We have been drilling, screening and hammering.
Nellie and Elaine have been keeping an eye on us.
I hope they approve of what we have done.
It has been quite a day for you.
It certainly has, yeah. Really a long day.
And how are you feeling about things now?
Erm, well, I'm happy that we have got things organised with
the alarm and things and that my mum is going to be safer,
and we hope that nothing like this is going to happen again.
So, yeah, really pleased that it is all done.
What about you, Nellie?
We have fitted you some more secure things around the house
-and we have put in an alarm for you.
-Yes, you have, yes.
And how did you feel about that?
I think it's marvellous when you've got a nice alarm.
I think it's done well today, all of you.
And you feel a bit safer now?
Oh, yeah, I feel safer now, a lot safer.
-Everything is going to be fine for you, isn't it?
-Everything is going to be fine for you now, we hope.
-I hope so!
Thank you to everybody.
Yeah, we had a lot of good times, really, haven't we?
Later, I'll be back with PC Masters to find out what
he makes of our changes.
I loved my days as a student.
Back in the '90s, I went to two unis
and lived in three different digs.
Today I am back with crime reduction officer Tony Pain.
He is coming with me to visit the students in Swansea
who had a serious lapse in security.
They left their back door unlocked -
an enticing opportunity for burglars.
So, what exactly went, then?
Well, we had a big 45 inch, 50 inch TV that was nicked,
a shisha pipe from up there, a shisha pipe from behind the door
and they nicked a couple of my beers as well that I left out.
-Who do you think it was? Who took it?
Because I mean, like, the pipes and the beer, that could be students
messing about, you know, pinching things at a party or whatever.
But, I mean, nicking a telly...
We said that, we said that it could be students because of the beer and
the shisha but then we thought that the TV's
a bit more serious, isn't it? Students wouldn't do that.
You wouldn't go into someone else's house
because you know how valuable those things are.
Have you heard of it happening to any of your mates?
It is pretty much the same thing for everyone - back doors are
open and they will try it, they will walk in and take something, so...
Is that the method, they just keep trying doors
until they get one that's open?
And unfortunately, they get lucky far too often.
Realistically, Tony, these guys aren't going to be doing
a full security makeover every time they move digs.
I mean, is there anything a bit more simple?
This is about as simple as you can get.
Turn it on, hang it over the door handle,
in about 30 seconds it arms.
-This is the door where the burglar's got in?
Just try and open the door.
-So are you just touching that there?
-A little tap.
You know, that is not a full alarm system -
you could take that anywhere.
'People aged 16 to 24 are twice as likely to be
'burgled as elderly people over the age of 75.
'Maybe it is because they own more expensive electronic devices.'
I mean, these guys have got probably about nine laptops in this place.
What can be done about that?
Well, you can download programmes that will be activated
if the computer or phone is stolen, can be activated remotely
and as soon as it connects to the internet, it will send
back geolocation information,
it will send back pictures of the person using the computer,
it will take screenshots of whatever programmes they are using
and that information means that quite often the police can be
knocking at the door while they are still playing on the computer.
'Thieves often try to flog stolen goods online
'or at second-hand shops.
'Items can be recovered by police, so it's important to make them
'traceable to you, the rightful owner.'
Here's the pen.
If you write on the back of your mobile phone...
'These ultraviolet markers work well and cost less than £1 each.'
-That's not your postcode, though, is it?
-No, it's not.
-No, it's not.
So, this is good and you can work at least 1,000 things with just one pen.
I mean, I wish you all the best.
I hope things go better for you in the future and, you know,
I hope you get your stuff back.
Realistically, most student digs are never going to be a fortress,
but that shouldn't spoil these guys' time at college.
At least now they have got a few security tips up their sleeve.
Back in Leeds and Elaine is visiting her mum, Nellie.
It is their daily catch-up over a cup of tea.
-So, have you been all right today?
-Not too bad.
-And the carer came to give you your dinner?
-Yes, she did.
Oh, that's lovely.
-Tomorrow is Friday, so what do we do on a Friday?
-Oh, yes, Friday!
-What do you have on a Friday?
-Fish and chips.
-You like your fish and chips for your dinner, don't you?
I am really looking forward to seeing them again today.
So, I think in a way it has been a blessing that your mum didn't
fully understand what was going on.
Yeah, it really is, because if she had known what had happened and saw
what the mess was upstairs, I think that would have upset her even more.
You know, I'm just glad she wasn't here and that she was OK
and that nothing had happened when she was in.
So, yeah, it has been a real ordeal.
And how have you been getting on with all of Neil's equipment?
The alarm has been brilliant, especially in the conservatory,
and the locks on the doors and the room has been really good.
Has it given you peace of mind?
It certainly has, yeah, it certainly has.
I mean, she doesn't go out that much,
but I know that she is secure in her little house.
Losing personal possessions is heartbreaking,
but at least the burglar didn't steal Nellie's most precious items -
her photographs and memories.
-This is your wedding. Can you remember that?
My wedding, yes.
-And this is your husband.
-Handsome, isn't he?
-My husband, yes.
-Yeah, he was, yes.
-We had a nice time.
-Oh, we did.
That's some lovely big doors.
-Can you remember this one?
-Where were you there?
-This is a captain.
-We were on a boat.
-On a cruise.
-P&O Canberra, I think you are on there.
-Is that the jewellery...?
That's the jewellery that she had taken, yeah.
Because this is what I was looking for, something to show.
-And she had these lovely pearls with an emerald.
Yeah, the brooch and that was on there.
PC Dave Masters originally gave Nellie's house
a security rating of just four out of ten.
Let's hope Neil's handiwork will bump up the new score we get today.
-Hello, Dave, how are you doing?
-Not too bad, how are you?
I'm good, thank you. Come on in, let me show you what we have done.
Thanks very much.
'There's lots of new gadgets for him to see.
'The burglars found their way in through the conservatory,
'but now it is much more secure.'
We have got a laser alarm here and a decent lock on the back door.
-And there is an extra alarm, of course, as well.
'The thieves had the luxury of time in Nellie's house to root through
'the drawers and cupboards, but not any more - this alarm system
'will certainly put an intruder off.'
-Do you know what it is?
-Yeah, I have seen this a few times before.
This is an infrared motion sensor,
which has a beam which goes across the room.
If it indicates an increase in heat,
a signal will go through to Nellie's son-in-law's mobile phone,
which will then ring to say that there may be intruders on the site.
-Pretty hi tech, this.
-Hi tech, very good piece of kit.
-So, are you impressed?
-I am impressed, really impressed, yeah.
-One last thing. I think I want one of these.
She can obviously see who it is before she answers the door.
So, are you really pleased with what has been done up here?
The improvements have been fantastic.
You weren't impressed when you first came round -
you were worried about Nellie.
We go to jobs like this and obviously her vulnerability
and her age... There wasn't many security devices in the house,
really, it was just standard locks, so it did need a lot of improvement.
-Now, I remember you gave her a four.
-It was a four out of ten.
I hope we have impressed you a little bit with what we have done.
You have indeed.
I would give the security in this house a nine out of ten.
-A nine out of ten?
-Nine out of ten.
There is hardly anything that could do with improvement, apart from maybe
the bins outside and tools which are left, but that's very minor, really.
All of the main security devices on the market at the moment
are in this house.
Brilliant. I think a nine is pretty good.
'I am thrilled we have made such a difference here
'and I can't wait to tell Elaine and Nellie the good news.'
You were given a four out of ten for your security
when we first came round.
-Oh, that's not very good, really, is it?
But we've been, Neil has been round, he has sorted you out,
-Yes, he came, yes.
-And he has now given you a nine out of ten.
Are you OK with that? Are you happy with a nine out of ten?
-I am, I don't mind.
-You don't mind.
-She doesn't mind at all.
I think that is a pretty...
I think that is really good, and we know
that everything is really safe, yes.
It is like a James Bond lair in here now!
-Isn't it? Yeah.
When I was with Nellie, it really made me think
about my own grandparents' home security
and I am definitely going to be checking that out.
And I am sure those students in Swansea are going to be a lot more
switched on about who is coming and going from the house from now on.
-Anyway, that's it for now. See you next time.