Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Legal
Home security is high on most people’s agendas, but, unbeknown to many, millions of UK homes are at risk because of a product we all see as providing a barrier between burglars and our possessions – the lock.
Raymond Pearce, head of UK sales for Avocet Hardware, talks about the fight against lock-snapping.
If you mention lock-snapping in conversation, the chances are most people will know what you’re talking about – and an increasing number of people will know someone affected by it.
But if you tell people the hard facts about lock-snapping, then every last one of them will be shocked. And that’s because the facts don’t make pleasant reading.
Today, millions of homes across the UK are at risk of lock-snapping attack because the Euro cylinder lock that is fitted as standard on all uPVC and double glazed doors can be snapped in a matter of seconds.
And to give you an idea of the extent of the problem, many police forces freely state that over 50% of all break-ins can be attributed to lock-snapping.
When you realise the scale of the problem you would think that everybody in a position to do something about it would be reading from the same song sheet and making sure everything that possibly could be done to stamp it out, would be. Shockingly, they’re not.
Insurance companies still insist on replacing snapped locks with like-for-like products, a practice that puts burgled homes back at risk.
A host of lock manufacturers confuse the picture by claiming their products are snap-proof or snap-secure when tests categorically show they aren’t.
Furthermore, the British Standards Institute’s certification for snap-secure locks, TS007 3-star, has been proven unable to withstand a lock-snapping attack carried out using tools that can be purchased freely and cheaply on Amazon.
When you lay out the facts like this they truly are scandalous.
And that’s before you take into account that national TV programmes like ‘This Morning’ have broadcast incorrect information about lock-snapping and how to stop it as fact.
One of the main reasons for the shocking situation we find ourselves in, and the lack of anything resembling a cohesive plan to turn things around, is that lock-snapping has long been send as a geographical problem, with certain areas affected more than others. The argument being put forward that publicising the issue will only exacerbate the problem across the entire country.
But I can’t think of one person who would prefer to be kept in the dark about a security aspect of their home that is in fact a major security risk.
Thankfully certain elements of the media are slowly coming round to this way of thinking, with the BBC’s Watchdog Test House and Crimewatch Roadshow recently airing informative pieces on lock-snapping.
Incredibly, there is a solution, but for some reason it hasn’t been welcomed with open arms, which when you consider everybody is aware of it, it is perhaps the most unbelievable aspect of the whole lock-snapping debacle.
Sold Secure was established by Northumbria and Essex police in 1992. Backed by the Home Office its aim was simple – to reduce the risk of crime through the assessment of security products. Today it is administered by the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) and amongst its various standards is SS312 Diamond accreditation.
This is the most robust testing process on the market and is continually updated. If a lock carries this standard it is snap-secure. And what’s more, manufacturers have to resubmit their products for testing every 12 months to ensure they can be tested against the latest lock-snapping techniques.
If everyone took this on-board and advertised the fact then lock-snappers would quickly be stopped in their tracks, a move that would make homes across Britain far more secure.
Avocet Hardware was recently announced as NHWN’s primary sponsor for security products for 2014 / 2015 – a partnership aimed at helping secure local communities through a process of education, promotion and incentivisation.