Its seems a little like something from a movie or the next episode of your favourite crime drama but this technique of marking potential targets has been around for some time and as recently as last month in the Manchester area and around the south west. Due to the increasing dangers of home alarm systems, neighbour hood watch programs, cctv and the populations general awareness of threats on their homes,intruders and thieves have taken to joining forces in the form of leaving information to their fellow criminals.
Burglars have always stalked their targets before making any kind of move on a person or their home, now they have taken it one step further by marking the targets home for other thieves, warning them of danger, risk or even potential rewards.
Each symbol represents the state of the potential target, it could be that the house is protected by a home alarm system, warning against breaking in to the home, or a sign that this particular place has been burgled recently (which is not always a deterrent! See our post on why your chances of being burgled actually increase after a burglary)
The Meaning of the Marks
Alarmed: Self explanatory, this symbol is a warning the home or property has a working alarm fitted. Not all home have easy to spot detection systems. On the contrary, at WSS Group Ltd we make sure our bell box alarms are on display for all to see, preventing even the idea of marking your home as a target.
Vulnerable Female: A very dangerous sign, this criminal has made aware the potential reward of a violent attack on the occupant of this home.
Nervous / Afraid: For any number of reasons, this symbol is again, a very dangerous sign that the occupant could be easily threatened or violently removed of their possessions.
Too Risky: Another warning of Home Security. Other examples may be a larger family, male occupants, guard dogs or connections with local authorities
Burgled Before: At first glance this may seem like a deterrent, on the contrary being burgled before could tell others that you have recently replaced new items in your home and you are worth watching while your guard may be down.
Nothing Worth Stealing: Low income homes or poor areas may see this sign more than others. The warning being that one mans rubbish is another mans treasure. Not a safe sign.
Good Target: A welcome mat for all criminals in the area. Extreemly dangerous and inviting to potential intruders. These home will usually have no working alarm detection installed.
While there are no recored sightings of the symbols in Glasgow, the trend has taken and spread from what it is believed to be its original area. People of Manchester have seen leaflets distributed by local authorities warning residents of the symbols and their meanings.