Derrick Purvis, Avocet Hardware’s marketing manager, talks about his company’s on-going battle against lock-snapping.

We’ve been banging the lock-snapping drum for longer than I care to remember and at times it feels like we’re the lone drummer in an orchestra that’s playing a completely different tune.

The fact of the matter is that the general public still isn’t fully aware of the dangers of lock-snapping and those in a position to really make a difference are for some reason unwilling to stamp down on it with the kind of force they are more than capable of delivering.

Unofficial sources claim that well over half of all forced entries in certain areas of the country are as a result of lock-snapping – a figure that may be even higher when you take into account that cars stolen from driveways and outside of houses after keys have been removed from the owners’ homes are most likely done so following a lock-snapping attack.

But despite this, the regulations are still blurred and police forces inconsistent in the information they supply.

Meanwhile, the insurance industry refuses point black to reward customers who upgrade to locks that provide the maximum security and even worse, insist on like-for-like replacements following a break-in. This situation immediately puts a burglary victim’s home back at exactly the same risk it was before the crime.

Astonishingly, our ABS snap secure lock is still the only retrofit Euro cylinder lock in the UK which has a British Kitemark TS007 3-star and Sold Secure’s SS312 Diamond ratings across the range – an accreditation double header that means it’s the safest snap secure lock on the market. In fact, some may say, the only true snap-secure lock on the market.

Lock-snapping, as we all know is opportunistic. The burglar sees the chance and makes the move. They need to be in and out in a matter of seconds, while making the minimal amount of noise. Having the Diamond Standard doesn’t guarantee a lock won’t snap but it does guarantee that it will take so long that by the time the burglar has made the breakthrough he’ll have quite an audience – one that most likely includes the local police.

Our ABS locks also come with the highest police accreditation – Secured by Design. And we don’t just stop at locks, we have a full range of window and door hardware with Secured by Design approval, which includes ATK Diamond grade Euro cylinder locks, Affinity 3D UPVC and composite door hinges, Affinity multi-point door locks and a full selection of suited door furniture.

It’s worth noting that lock-snapping can and does affect anyone. In the run-up to Christmas, the then Aston Villa and former England international, Darren Bent had his Little Aston home broken into while he slept. Two cars, valued at £160,000, were stolen. Staffordshire Police were quick to confirm that the thieves gained entrance to the star’s house by snapping locks.

While in no way welcome, high-profile break-ins like this may just prove to be the catalyst needed to deliver a more open approach to spreading the lock-snapping message. Especially when you place it into the context of the ever-increasing number of testimonials we receive concerning the effectiveness of our TS007 3-star and SS312 Diamond accredited ABS lock.

Bob Callard OBE – a director of Sheffield-based Callard Security – recently wrote to say: “I specified them (ABS) for a client earlier this year, who sadly was burgled last week…or rather he wasn’t.

“His entire street was hit by a team of ‘snappers’ who made successful entries against a range of properties, apart from his. The sacrificial element of the cylinder parted company in accordance with its design leaving his property safe. His neighbours have all asked him why they were unsuccesful, with the resullt that I have now specified Avocet for them all.”

At Avocet we have a solution that can prevent lock-snapping attacks on any kind of home, no matter whether it belongs to a Premiership footballer or a shopkeeper, a postman or a pop star.

We’re currently working closely with Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network on a series of marketing initiatives that we feel will drive the lock-snapping discussion and more importantly, how to promote it into the public arena – this will in turn create opportunities for the locksmith.

By all pulling together, I’m absolutely certain we could deliver a significant drop in break-ins across the country and make lock-snapping a thing of the past.

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