Vinnie Jones Opens Up About ‘Soul Destroying’ Experience Of Being Burgled
Footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones wasn’t at home when burglars broke into his home, having just nipped around the corner for a bag of fish and chips.
This was back in 1990, a time when Vinnie, now 56, would have felt quite comfortable heading out without first locking the front door, as did many others.
Growing up in Hertfordshire, Vinnie and his friends would often run freely into each other houses for biscuits, a ‘lovely time’ that he is all too aware has long since passed.
When Vinnie returned home with his chippy takeaway that day, the sight that greeted him would leave a lasting impact, forever changing his attitude towards home security.
Speaking with UNILAD, Vinnie, who had been playing for Leeds United at the time, recalled how he’d been met with the sight of ‘a couple of lads pushing out of the drive, and another coming out of the back door with a TV under their arms’.
Vinnie remembered how ‘it all happened so quick’:
It was quite an episode. I jumped out of the car and chased them. Grabbed hold of one, and got him and pulled him back to the house.
The police arrived at the scene, and took the thief away with them. However, Vinnie feels that, had he fixed a security camera in place, he would have clocked what was going on earlier.
Vinnie managed to get his stolen belongings back but ‘it was all damaged’. Back then, TVs cost far more than they do now, making for a significant loss. However, the most devastating blow, as many can no doubt imagine, was the loss of his pet dog.
Reflecting on the ‘soul destroying’ nature of realising a burglar has rifled through your home, Vinnie said:
We lost a little dog as well, you know, we had a little puppy. That went missing from the front garden as well.
If I’d have had the cameras then which I have now, we’ve got them everywhere, all round. So you could have at least a car or licence plate or something to give to the police, and try to get some end to it all.
Research by home security system company Ring found that attitudes towards our homes changed somewhat over the course of lockdown, with a third (32%) of people reportedly becoming more conscious about security.
Of course, with many of us spending days at a time staring at the same four walls, we began to notice things that would have usually slipped our attention in busier times, with our lockdown eyes suddenly picking up on the blind spots and vulnerabilities that would allow for easy access.
However, the easing of restrictions has also resulted in a more relaxed attitude towards home security, with surveillance cams and other such purchases slipping by the wayside as more exciting priorities popped up once more.
As per this research, as many as two-fifths (42%) of Brits have not thought about home security matters since restrictions were lifted, a figure that could be cause for concern as we enter the cold, dark winter months.
As per the Office of National Statistics (ONS), you are 1.14 times more likely to be burgled in winter than you are in the summer months, with the cover of darkness and lure of expensive Christmas presents being two contributing factors.
With this in mind, as we head out for some well-deserved lockdown fun, it’s important to remain mindful of those looking to take advantage of our cheerful complacency.
UNILAD spoke with Ring Europe MD Dave Ward, who noted that it’s ‘often the basics of the things that get overlooked first’, adding:
You know, if I could get one message way of just getting people to lock their doors, lock their windows, keep their valuables out of sight. That goes a long way to making sure that the neighbourhood is safer and that your home in particular is safer.
As an ambassador for Ring, Vinnie has Ring security cameras fitted all around his property, which he says work as a ’24-hour deterrent’, wherever he may be in the world.
Vinnie, who also makes sure his sister keeps an eye out when he’s away, told UNILAD:
I’m all over the place, I’m all over the world. I’m in Canada, I’m in New York, I’m in Los Angeles. I’m in Palm Springs. Wherever I am, in the morning, that’s the first thing I do. I get up, I have it on live feed and I also go back and look at recordings.
Of course, not all of us live this sort of jet-set lifestyle, but there are cost-effective steps we can take to reduce the risk of falling prey to burglars this wintertime.
Advising on how to keep burglars at bay, Ward advised ‘being a bit more conscious around your general security’, noting that it’s all too easy to forget who might be watching when you leave your key under the mat:
They’re the sort of things that come back to unfortunately bite you when it comes to home security. Additionally to that, there’s lots of things you can do to stay connected to the home, with Ring device being a good example.
Just being able to see, hear and speak to whoever’s on your premise from anywhere in the world just allows you to stay connected. And that’s really effectively, you know, quite easy to achieve at a relatively low cost with devices starting from as little as £50.
Vinnie warned that ‘you always think it won’t happen to you’, recalling an incident a few weeks back where a friend of his had a vehicle stolen from his driveway at four in the morning.
At least if you had the means to record the crime, Vinnie noted, you’d have footage to show the police that would hopefully allow them to track the individuals down.
You don’t give them a chance. You know, it’s a gut-wrenching feeling to know that someone has intruded into your personal space, but don’t give them that chance.
With many of us now spending our days back at the office – or indeed film set – do make sure to stay safe when it comes to protecting your home, and keep an eye out for anything amiss.
Vinnie Jones is working with whole home security company, Ring, to highlight the benefits of staying connected to your home. Visit Ring.com for further information.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
CreditsOffice for National Statistics (ONS)
Office for National Statistics (ONS)