• Sweden's news in English
 

Holiday status updates 'not a burglary risk'

Published: 16 Apr 2014 10:03 GMT+02:00

Scientists at Blekinge Technical College (Blekinge tekniska högskola - BTH) used reported crime data provided by south Sweden police to analyze burglary patterns.

In some cases, they even helped the police solve burglaries because a known thief had a very specific modus operandi, although researcher Martin Boldt said he did not have the exact number of crime-busting data analyses at hand.

Some of the findings were old news. Houses at the end of a street and houses with gardens backing onto a forest were more at risk. A family that had an alarm system visible, however, was less likely to be burgled. Having a dog also helped cut the risk.

Among the 120 factors used to analyze burglary trends, one was dubbed simply "The Facebook Box". Had the victim talked about going away on the their social media accounts?

"I don't want to say there is no risk, as it's always a bad idea to write online that you're going away, but the risk was insignificant, or very small," said Boldt, who himself will happily post pictures or update his status while on holiday.

"But only after Facebook made privacy settings easier to manage a few years back," he told The Local. 

The researchers did not only look at Facebook, but other social media, blogs and chat forums. While there were a few cases of reported social media activity and a house being emptied, they were few and far between.

Boldt, however, pointed out that the police may not yet have gotten into the routine of asking the victim about social media behaviour.

"Or the police interview a parent, who has no idea that their kid has talked about the vacation online," Boldt said. 

The risks of announcing your absence online has been a topic of debate ever since social media took off, but Boldt said that real life situations could still pose a more concrete risk. 

"Listen, as a burglar, you cruise up and down the street Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then on Thursday you hit up the house that's obviously empty," he said. "Thieves are lazy, they go for the easiest options, like peering into your mail box to see if the post has piled up." 

And rather than that longed-for trip to Thailand, it could be quite mundane weekend fun like going to Ikea that puts a family at risk, he said. 

"If they see the entire Svensson family traipse out of a car at the mall - mum, dad, three kids - they know no one is home," he said, also mentioning ferries, the Öresundsbron bridge, and other places with a lot of people in motion as places where organized gangs of thieves could be looking up a car plate and to which address it is registered.

"It doesn't cost a lot of kronor to look up a registration number, so you'll feed several into the data base until you find a house which is nearby and in a good spot," he told The Local.

TT/The Local/at (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish amber rock was Second World War bomb
The amber rock was in fact a large piece of trotyl, pictured. Photo: Daniel Grohmann

Swedish amber rock was Second World War bomb

A two-kilo rock handed to a museum in southern Sweden by a fisherman who thought it was a piece of amber, has turned out to be a huge Second World War bomb. READ  

Stockholm transport boss resigns over theft
The chief executive of Stockholm's public transport group SL, Anders Lindström, has resigned. Photo: Annika af Klercker/Svenska Dagbladet

Stockholm transport boss resigns over theft

The head of Stockholm's public transport group, SL, has stepped down a fortnight after he was fined by a Hong Kong court for stealing an expensive designer credit card holder in an airport store. READ  

Sweden ladies red-faced over infectious 'clap' tag
The Swedish women's national football team. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Sweden ladies red-faced over infectious 'clap' tag

Swedish is a peculiar language, and translating expressions into English can be tricky, as most expats know. The women's national football team got a taste of this on Tuesday, when their international slogan inadvertently encouraged fans to spread gonorrhoea around Sweden. READ  

Does Sweden mark down foreigners' children?
A Swedish paper has compared pupils' national test scores to their individual grades. Photo: Annette Friberg/SCANPIX

Does Sweden mark down foreigners' children?

Children in Sweden with foreign-born parents appear to get lower scores in national exams than from their own class teachers, research by a major Swedish daily newspaper suggests. READ  

Sweden has fewest new prisoners in six decades
Fewer people are being sent to prison in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Persson/SCANPIX

Sweden has fewest new prisoners in six decades

Fewer people were sent to prison in Sweden in 2014 than in any other year since the 1950s, according to new figures from Sweden’s Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården). READ  

Asylum seekers face ‘years’ without Swedish
An SFI class in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Asylum seekers face ‘years’ without Swedish

Sweden’s commitment to give free Swedish classes to all asylum seekers is failing, according to the Red Cross, which says that too many are being forced to wait “several years” before they can attend lessons. READ  

Russia exercise parallels Sweden war simulation
A Russian military long range bomber aircraft. Photo: TT

Russia exercise parallels Sweden war simulation

Russian military forces have launched an unexpected huge military exercise, which is taking place as Sweden continues to host thousands of troops from nine countries for a similar war games simulation. READ  

Opinion
'Swedes need to ditch cakes at coffee time'
A very Swedish coffee break. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Swedes need to ditch cakes at coffee time'

Grabbing a cake and a coffee at least once a day is one of Sweden's best loved traditions and even has a special name: 'fika'. But Swedish medical student Haroon Bayani is calling on Swedish nationals and foreigners alike to stop reaching for sweet treats in the workplace. READ  

Pirate Bay founder to appeal domain ruling
The Swedish state owns two Pirate Bay domain names after a court ruling. Photo: Marc Femenia/SCANPIX

Pirate Bay founder to appeal domain ruling

One of the Swedish Pirate Bay founders will appeal a court ruling to let the state seize two domains used by the controversial file-sharing site, his lawyer has told a Swedish daily. READ  

Sweden's bid to speed foreigners into work
Many foreign professionals struggle to find work in Sweden. Photo: Lena Granefelt/imagebank.sweden.se

Sweden's bid to speed foreigners into work

A new fast-track scheme's been proposed to help foreign skilled workers find employment more quickly in Sweden. The plans, which were presented by the Swedish government on Monday, could come into effect within a year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Avicii confirms royal wedding DJ gig
Gallery
Property of the week: Lugnvik, Östersund
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw through the years
Gallery
People-watching: May 22nd-23rd
Blog updates

24 May

 (Joel Sherwood) »

"Real American men don’t watch Eurovision. New video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQk5dUhGt-w ..." READ »

 

22 May

Editor’s blog, May 22nd (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Stockholm, The hot topic in Europe this week is whether or not the UK will..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
What it's like to be a student in Malmö
National
Why are Sweden's beaches among the worst in Europe?
Sponsored Article
Kristin Amparo: 'Swedes are afraid to be proud'
National
VIDEO: Can you get your tongue around Sweden's word for 'nurse'?
Sponsored Article
'No one tells expats about unemployment benefits'
National
How two million Swedes are designing a 'house of clicks'
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Five facts you need to know about Sweden's Eurovision entry
National
Why do one in three Swedes want to join Nato?
Features
What to do in Stockholm this summer
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th
National
How Sweden and Saudi Arabia got back on speaking term after row
Gallery
Property of the week: Västra hamnen, Malmö
Sponsored Article
'There is no such thing as Swedish values'
National
Why is support for the Sweden Democrats at a record high?
Sponsored Article
ConnectSweden: Examining Sweden's place in the world
Gallery
People-watching: May 15th - 17th
National
VIDEO: Swedish man's roar scares off charging bear
National
'Gang conflict' linked to latest Gothenburg attack
National
RECIPE: How to make Panna cotta with cloudberry jam
Sponsored Article
'Educated immigrants get stuck in limbo in Sweden'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Your May sun snaps
National
Sweden backs migrant sharing plan
National
Swedish boozing on the rise
National
Why Sweden's deputy PM was forced to apologize for Auschwitz analogy
National
End of the road for Julian Assange's arrest appeal?
Features
Booked to go to one of Sweden's sizzling music festivals yet?
National
Meet the Swedish boy who used to be a girl
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Estelle through the years
National
Why is obesity ballooning in Sweden?
National
VIDEO: The bizarre Swedish nurses song that's gone viral
National
Ecuador stray dog Arthur in Swedish charity race
National
UK expert: 'Sweden's current military state is alarming'
National
Elfdalian: a real language spoken in central Sweden in 2015
National
Is King's love for house tracks behind new military music?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hjortnäs, Leksand
National
Sex-crazed grouse terrorizes Swedes
National
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King Carl XVI turns 69
National
Dolphins spotted in Baltic
Gallery
People-watching: May 1st-3rd
Sponsored Article
'Never waste a good crisis'
National
Road trippers flock to 'The Bridge'
National
Why are Swedish supermarkets banning paracetamol pills?
Gallery
People watching: April 29th
National
"In many ways Swedes and Americans are kindred spirits"
Politics
Did you know four Swedish party leaders are women?
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sex?
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,326
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se