Are you a part of a Facebook group that helps keep your area safe? Or perhaps you use Twitter or Instagram to beat the burglar?

Our new research has revealed that almost half of Brits (45%) are part of online social media groups that help catch burglars in their local area.

Of these social savvy homeowners, over half (54%) are logging onto Facebook community groups and a fifth to Neighbourhood Watch forums (20%). 17 per cent are using Twitter and surprisingly over a quarter (26%) are even using Instagram to share tips and help identify local crooks. It also appears more women (49%) than men (38%) are partaking in this new wave of social media crime fighting.

Our research sheds new light on homeowner attitudes to local crime, with 43 per cent of online crime fighters responding to these name-and-shame type posts at least once a week. This follows our previous research that highlighted how 44 per cent of Brits are calling for Neighbourhood Watch schemes to be rolled out in all areas in a bid to deter criminals.

London is home to the highest population of online vigilantes (48%), closely followed by Glasgow (46%) and Sheffield (44%). Newcastle homeowners are least likely to join the cause (23%).

  1. London 48%
  2. Glasgow 46%
  3. Sheffield 44%
  4. Birmingham 43%
  5. Edinburgh 41%
  6. Manchester 41%
  7. Bristol 37%
  8. Cardiff 36%
  9. Nottingham 35%
  10. Belfast 29%
  11. Norwich 29%
  12. Liverpool 28%
  13. Leeds 27%
  14. Southampton 27%
  15. Newcastle 23%

And it’s not just digitally that neighbours are coming together to fight local crime; 78 per cent of Brits make a conscious effort to keep a lookout on their neighbours’ houses, with the majority of the over 65s (86%) doing so. Those in Sheffield, Liverpool and Norwich are the most dedicated, admitting to keeping an eye out at all times:

  1. Sheffield 49%
  2. Liverpool 46%
  3. Norwich 44%
  4. Newcastle 42%
  5. Nottingham 41%
  6. Manchester 41%
  7. Southampton 38%
  8. Glasgow 36%
  9. Leeds 33%
  10. Bristol 33%
  11. Birmingham 31%
  12. Edinburgh 29%
  13. London 28 %
  14. Cardiff 27%
  15. Belfast 16%

Our MD Anthony Neary commented, “It’s encouraging to see communities coming together to catch local burglars, and we’re glad to see that traditional ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ values haven’t fallen by the wayside in the digital age. Social media channels such as Facebook community groups can be hugely effective, and it appears the trend to use them to fight local crime is on the rise.

“We can’t stress enough the importance of decent home security measures to deter local criminals, especially while the nights are still long. Whether it’s investing in CCTV, fitting an alarm or simply teaming up with your neighbours to commit to keeping watch, there are many ways you can keep your home safe and secure.”

Our online community hub is a great place to start, filled with tips from real people about how best to secure your home. Add your tips here.

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