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Burglary security

Unit(s) of assessment: Social Work and Social Policy

Research theme: Safety and Security of Citizens and Society

School: School of Social Sciences


Domestic burglary is a high-volume crime affecting many households. While it has declined in recent years, it causes substantial financial loss and damage to property as well as high levels of anxiety. Surveys documenting public priorities about crime place burglary at the top.

Burglar alarms and other security devices in principle deter potential burglars, and insurance premiums are discounted when a fully operating burglar alarm exists in the home thanks to claims about the effectiveness of burglar alarms and other security devices in the marketing literature. However, there is little systematic research about the role of security devices in declining burglary, or their relative effectiveness in different contexts. The present research project seeks to address these issues.

Past work

This project follows on from a previous ESRC grant awarded to the (older part of the) team (G. Farrell, N. Tilley and A. Tseloni) led by Professor Graham Farrell. View further details.

Key publications on this research area include:

Van Dijk, J. Tseloni, A. and Farrell, G. 2012. The International Crime Drop: New Directions in Research. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 978-0-230-30265-5

Tseloni, A., G. Farrell, N. Tilley, L. Grove, R. Thompson and L. Garius. 2012. 'Towards a comprehensive research plan on opportunity theory and the crime falls' in J.J.M. van Dijk et al. (eds.) The International Crime Drop: New Directions in Research. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (pp. 286-299)

Van Dijk, J.J.M., A. Tseloni and G. Farrell. 2012. 'Understanding international crime trends – A summing up' in J.J.M. van Dijk et al. (eds.) The International Crime Drop: New Directions in Research. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (pp. 300-320)

Farrell, G., Tilley, N., Tseloni, A., & Mailley, J. 2010. Explaining and sustaining the crime drop: Clarifying the role of opportunity-related theories. Crime Prevention & Community Safety, 12(1), 24-41

Tseloni, A., Mailley, J., Farrell, G., & Tilley, N. 2010. Exploring the international decline in crime rates. European Journal of Criminology, 7(5): 375-394

Farrell, G., A. Tseloni and J. Mailley, and N. Tilley. 2011. 'The crime drop and the security hypothesis' Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 48(2): 147-175

Farrell, G., A. Tseloni and N. Tilley. 2011. 'The effectiveness of car security devices and their role in the crime drop' Criminology and Criminal Justice, 11(1): 21-35

Tilley, N., A. Tseloni and G. Farrell. 2011. 'Income disparities of burglary risk: Security availability and the crime drop' British Journal of Criminology, 51: 296-313.

Farrell, G. N. Tilley, A Tseloni and J. Mailley. 2008. 'The crime drop and the security hypothesis' British Society of Criminology Newsletter, 62: 17-21


  • Professor Andromachi Tseloni - Principal Investigator
  • Dr Louise Grove - Co-Investigator
  • Professor Nick Tilley - Co-Investigator
  • Professor Graham Farrell - Co-Investigator
  • Dr Rebecca Thompson - Research Assistant
  • Emily Evans - Research Assistant
  • Dr Emmanuel Nimo - Research Assistant

Advisory committee:

  • Association of Chief Police Officers
  • Home Office (Centre for Applied Science and Technology; Crime Reduction Hub)
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Neighbourhood Watch
  • Victim Support
  • Nottinghamshire, West Yorkshire and West Mercia Police
  • Nottingham Crime and Drugs Partnership
  • Nottingham City Homes
  • University of Huddersfield
  • Nottingham Trent University


Findings from the project have been published in prestigious outlets:


Findings have been presented at several international conferences:

A Burglary and Security Project Conference was held in January 2015 at The Galleries of Justice in Nottingham. Papers from the conference can be viewed below:

1. Conference Poster

2. Conference Final delegate list

3. Paddy Tipping Bio

4. Alex Murry Bio

5. Alex Murray Keynote

6. Andromachi Tseloni Project Presentation

7. Nick Tilley Alarms and MOs Presentation

8. Round Table Discussion Outcomes

9. Conference Evaluation Form Data

10. Advisory Committee List

11. Burglary and Security Project Investigators

12. Burglary and Security Project Staff