Recent studies have shown 32 per cent of household break-ins to have been through an unlocked door, with about 40 per cent of completed break-ins involving forced entry - making the front door a surprisingly common target for burglars.

 A neighbour of mine, Shawna Willis, joined the fate of the said 32% last weekend when she and her husband returned home to a half-empty living room, quickly realising that they had left their door unlocked before heading out to collect a range of grocery items. 

Though seemingly an irresponsible and unlikely act, many residents commonly forget to lock their doors - particularly when leaving the house in groups, as people often rely on someone to remember to do it, making it a likely possibility for them all to forget.

 It should also be noted that a significant amount of burglars are able to break in due to keys being within easy access of the lock, while seasoned burglars knowing exactly where to look for the spare key you may have ‘hidden’ within the vicinity of your front garden.

In an interview with my neighbour, Willis claims to be battling with feelings of ‘anxiety’ after the robbery, blaming herself for ‘not double-checking that the door was locked’ as she usually remembers to do. Her husband, spoke of feelings of frustration, referring to the event as a ‘violation’ of his and his family’s ‘privacy and security’.

Fortunately for the pair, insurance companies have agreed to compensate for all stolen items. Despite this though, an emotional scar is bound to be left upon the victims, as some items (one being a vintage lamp, handed down from former generations) cannot be replaced and are incredibly difficult to recover.

Police have also begun investigating into the crime, though ultimately, no amount of compensation can cover the cost of the emotional distress the victims are likely to face.

Don’t fall victim of a tragedy you can prevent, for advice on steps to take in reducing your chances of being burgled, visit the Police UK website, at: