The Neighbourhood Watch website reported recently about a couple in West Yorkshire who were victims of a burglary due to lock snapping. In March, Mark Davies and his partner Ruth Harrison returned home from an evening out to find Ruth’s car had been stolen and the thief had obtained the car keys from inside their home by snapping the lock to gain entry. On contacting his insurance company, Mark was informed that they were only prepared to replace the locks on his home ‘like for like’ – leaving the property at risk of being broken into via the same method again.
What really irritates me is that had we known our locks were at risk of being snapped so easily then there is absolutely no doubt we would have upgraded them a long time ago.
We were absolutely staggered to find out about the scale of the lock-snapping problem and the fact it is something that the British public isn’t fully aware of.
Everyone from the police to the media and right through to the insurance companies, who are simply replacing snapped locks with like-for-like replacements, should take it on themselves 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.
I, for one, am extremely angry that it took our home being burgled and our possessions stolen for us to find out the truth about lock-snapping.
On March 13th the BBC’s Watchdog Test House aired an episode emphasising the extent of the current lock snapping problem and in 2012 West Yorkshire Police reported that burglaries in the region involving lock-snapping totalled 27 per cent. More recently, other constabularies around the country have estimated over half of all break-ins involve lock snapping.
It’s easy pickings for burglars as, shockingly, lock snapping tools can be bought easily on the Amazon marketplace from several different sellers. Avocet (who manufacture anti-snap locks) and others have called for Amazon to ban sales of such products but at the time of writing they are still available.
You may remember that we wrote about a similar situation in November – locksmith tools were at the time available to buy via Tesco’s online marketplace, though they were removed after campaigning by the Master Locksmiths Association and others on social media. Put simply, there is no reason for these tools to be available for the general public to purchase. The only person who would have a legitimate use for such a tool is a locksmith, who can purchase tools through the proper channels using a trade account.
As Dr Tinkle Jain, Director at Avocet puts it:
These products may well be viewed as locksmith’s trade tools, but they are readily available to members of the general public and it’s fair to say that only particularly unscrupulous members of the public are going to search for them, let alone buy them.
To find out more about lock snapping and how to securely upgrade your locks then please do not hesitate to call us at Alexandra Locksmiths on 020 8883 1555 (Muswell Hill) or 020 8364 2000 (Enfield) and we will be more than happy to discuss your security needs.