Majority of residents worried their homes will be burgled whilst away on holiday

With nobody around to hear them, burglars tried to hammer this safe out of the wall.

Most of Spain goes away on holiday in August, and many families take with them the nagging worry their homes will be broken into whilst they are away at the beach.

This finding comes from a new survey commissioned by the private security company Securitas Direct. 60% of families are worried about their homes being broken into whilst they are away on holiday this summer, 41% say they know someone it has happened to, and 5% say it has already happened to them.

It’s not a trivial concern. With so many families away at the same time, cities like Barcelona are left to tourists and burglars. Many apartment buildings are almost empty for the best part of a month, making it easier for thieves to break in. Flats in my building in central Barcelona have been broken into several times during August in years gone by.

What security measures do people take at home to avoid the problem? According to the survey, not many. Just 11% have an radio alarm with a company like Securitas Direct, 10% have security cameras installed, and 9% have reinforced doors. So 60% are worried, yet just one in ten have any measures in place.

When it comes to public policy to make families feel more secure about their property, the most popular measures Spaniards would like to see are harsher laws against robbers (68%), quicker prosecutions (59%), and more police in tourist areas (48%). I’m not sure what good the last measure would do to keep their homes safe from break ins whilst they are away at the beach, but that’s the data.

They survey also provided some insight into Spanish holiday habits. 84% of Spanish household plan to take some sort of summer break this year, whilst 16% say they can’t afford to. The average summer holiday lasts 14 days, whilst 17% of families take more than 21 days off, and 22% take up to a week away.

The average spend per person on holiday is €542, the equivalent of 41 €/person/day. 31% spend less than €300, and 8% more than €1,000.

About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based Spanish property market analyst, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on ms@spanishpropertyinsight.com. All articles published in good faith as a general guide but no substitute for professional advice. Please read the SPI disclaimer

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