An author has penned the first ever ‘edutainment’ crime fiction novella – to help Brits keep their homes secure.
Sophie Hannah wrote A Dark Time to pass on security hints and tips to homeowners who find themselves at increased risk of burglary during the winter months.
Seven homes in the UK are burgled every minute across a calendar year.
A study of 2,000 homeowners carried out by home security firm to coincide with the launch of the book found 14 per cent of Brits have no security measures in place whatsoever.
A Dark Time is the latest entry in Hannah’s Waterhouse and Zailer series, which started in 2006 with the release of Little Face, which sold over 100,000 copies in the UK.
Sophie Hannah said: “I’ve really loved writing A Dark Time.
”I had an idea that I’d really wanted to try out for ages – and raising awareness around the increased risks to home security now that the nights are getting darker was the perfect fit for executing it.
”My story idea needed exactly that setting, a dark night, and involved a burglary of a very peculiar kind – a puzzle that I knew my detectives Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer would enjoy solving.”
UK homes are at an elevated risk of burglary thanks to the clocks going back, according to research.
December was revealed as the peak time for break-ins across the UK, with 13 per cent of Brits experiencing a burglary in the last year alone.
And six in 10 Brits feel more vulnerable to a break-in when the nights grow longer.
However, keeping our homes warm and making sure energy bills are paid are the nation’s top concerns after the clocks go back – ahead of securing our castles.
Nearly a quarter of Brits have fitted a security alarm to warn off potential intruders, and 57 per cent keep their house lights on to make it look like someone is home.
A further 48 per cent close their blinds or curtains while they’re out, and just under a tenth have bought a dog to deter burglars from targeting their property.
Lee Jasper, security expert at ADT said: “Year on year, we have seen a 10 per cent increase in burglaries during the darker months.
”So it’s vital that people put the right security measures in place to help protect their homes to avoid falling victim.
“The research shows we’re feeling more vulnerable as a nation when the clocks go back, however there is a clear lack of awareness when it comes down to preventing burglaries.
“We’re hoping that the launch of A Dark Time can help the nation safeguard their homes, in an entertaining and engaging way.”
A Dark Time is available as a free download from the ADT website from Monday 22nd October.