Professor Andromachi Tseloni wins ONS Research Excellence Award for home security research.

Homes with stand-alone security features, such as security chains or CCTV, are three times less likely to be burgled than homes without, while burglar alarms increase the risk of burglary, finds research using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Analysing 20 years of crime data, made available through the ONS Secure Research Service, Professor Andromachi Tseloni of Nottingham Trent University found that homes with multiple devices, excluding burglar alarms, were up to 52 times less likely to be burgled than homes without security.

The best value for money was a combination of internal and external lights and locks, but burglar alarms were found to increase burglary risk even when combined with other security measures.

Professor Tseloni, who won the ONS Research Excellence Award, said that being a finalist and receiving the award was tremendously rewarding. She added: “This award is a unique opportunity to share my research findings with both the research community and policymakers, and it allows them to inform crime reduction initiatives that bring real change to the lives of everyday people and communities.

“Without the Crime Survey for England and Wales, and the ability to link this with other key ONS and administrative datasets, this research would not have been possible.”

Professor Tseloni’s research has been used at the local and national level, informing the advice given by the Neighbourhood Watch Network and setting a minimum standard for security used by Nottingham’s city council, police force and university. She hopes that winning this award will provide an opportunity to extend her research, potentially to include evaluating whether new security devices can reduce burglary risk across communities.

Frankie Kay, Interim Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Data Capability at the ONS said: “We are delighted to see Professor Tseloni win the 2019 ONS Research Excellence Award. The results of her project are already being used to make people and their property safer, highlighting the power of data in making better decisions and improving the lives of people in the UK.

“All of our finalists showed the benefit of sharing data, and we hope that their research goes on to help inform those in government, business and the charity sector who need reliable figures to make important decisions.”

The ONS Research Excellence Award recognises and celebrates outstanding, innovative research carried out using the ONS’s secure data. The research must deliver a public benefit to the UK while protecting data confidentiality.

This year’s runner-up was Dr Dougal Hargreaves of University College London. His research compared data from three countries to determine whether better paediatric care for children with epilepsy increases their chances of surviving into young adulthood. The study found that adolescents who received higher-quality paediatric care, including the involvement of specialist paediatricians and epilepsy nurses, had fewer hospital admissions and a much lower risk of dying in early adulthood.

The People’s Choice Award was given to a team headed by Dr Swati Dhingra of the London School of Economics for their research on wage reductions and training cutbacks after Brexit.

The other finalists were Dr Erik Lenguerrand of the University of Bristol, who linked ONS data with information from the National Joint Registry to compare rates of success and mortality associated with surgery methods for infected hip and knee replacements, and Professor Peter Dolton of the University of Sussex for his analysis of changes to pensions in the public sector, which he said could lead to a massive shift in intergenerational inequality.

Notes to editors:

You can download a full size picture from our blog of all the winners from this year’s awards from our blog site. Left to right, this includes: Dr Erik Lenguerrand, Frankie Kay (Office for National Statistics), Professor Andromachi Tseloni, Dr Dougal Hargreaves and Professor Peter Dolton.

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