New research reveals listed home owners live in fear of property crime
17 February 2020
Research commissioned by Ecclesiastical and the Listed Property Owners’ Club has revealed Britain’s listed properties are being targeted by criminals and most listed property owners feel vulnerable.
- Three in ten listed property owners in the UK have been a victim of a property crime
- 92% of listed property owners feel vulnerable to property crime
- One in five don’t feel protected by the police
- Theft, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage are the top three crimes experienced by listed property owners
Research1 commissioned by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical and the Listed Property Owners’ Club has revealed Britain’s listed properties are being targeted by criminals and most listed property owners feel vulnerable. The survey discovered the vast majority of listed property owners (92%) feel vulnerable to property crime. Theft of contents (96%), theft of metal (88%) and anti-social behaviour (76%) are the top three concerns. This is followed by arson (68%), theft of stone (60%) and graffiti (61%).
Victims of listed property crime
The research revealed three in ten (30%) listed property owners have been a victim of a property crime. Of those victims, more than half (52%) have experienced property contents theft, a third (32%) have suffered anti-social behaviour, while 29% have been a victim of criminal damage. One in five (20%) have been a victim of vandalism while one in ten (13%) have had metal stolen or been a victim of graffiti at their property (10%). In the most extreme cases, some respondents to our survey had been victims of violence in their own homes. One home owner reported being “physically attacked by four masked intruders” in their home.
Why listed properties are an attractive target for criminals
Two in five listed property owners (43%) believe living in a listed building makes them more vulnerable to property crime compared to those living in modern buildings. Having single glazing (62%), flimsy windows (56%) and a perception of high value contents (46%) were the top three reasons given.
One listed home owner added: “I’m worried about how easy it is for someone to break into my home because we can’t use effective security due to the listing.” While another homeowner highlighted: “Due to planning restrictions it can be difficult to make external doors and windows safe.”
Are police response times adequate?
Of those who reported the crime to the police, a quarter (26%) said the police took more than a day to respond. While more than one in ten (13%) said the police didn’t respond at all. Alarmingly, 18% of listed property owners do not feel protected by the police. While 30% are extremely or very concerned about police response times in their area.
Victims fear repeated crimes
Of those who experienced a property crime, most (68%) were concerned it would happen again while more than two in five (42%) experienced increased anxiety as a result of the crime. One in five (19%) said they didn’t feel happy or at ease in their home while one in ten (13%) didn’t feel safe in their home.
Repairing listed properties can be costly and time-consuming
Three in five (60%) listed property owners had to repair their property after the crime took place. While most repairs (83%) were completed within three months, one in five (17%) took more than three months to complete. The survey revealed more than a third (36%) of repairs cost more than £1,000 to complete. One in ten (11%) cost more than £5,000, while 5% cost more than £10,000.
Faith Kitchen, heritage director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “As the UK’s leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings, we’re passionate about protecting Britain’s heritage. It’s sad to read that 30% of listed property owners have been a victim of a property crime and most feel vulnerable to property crime. While gaining consent to make alterations to listed buildings can be challenging, there are many reversible and inconspicuous measures you can take to improve the security of your listed building including CCTV, intruder alarms and security lighting.”
Martin Anslow from The Listed Property Owners’ Club, said: “Owning a listed building can be an enormous pleasure but there are hidden costs that make ownership more expensive than the norm. The issue of criminal damage is yet another example. At LPOC we actively work to ensure parliamentarians are aware of these issues and we continuously campaign on behalf of all owners for tax and planning changes that will help reduce the cost of living in a home of historical importance.”
1 Survey of 986 Listed Property Owners’ Club members during 11 October to 12 November 2019. 3% own a Grade I or Category A listed property (32), 71% own a Grade II or Category C listed property (703) and 25% own a Grade II* or Category B listed property.