Home.  That word alone evokes strong nostalgia in most, or at least a inner sense of relaxation, but generally we acknowledge ‘home’ as the place that we spend most of our days nestled within our cozy confines.

We as a human race are innately programmed to create a ‘home’ for ourselves, to shelter us from the elements, a store for our most precious and valuable personal possessions and acts as a shield of comfort from the outside world, it is truly the core essence of human comfort.

We often take the safety of our homes for granted, as if they are impenetrable fortresses and can be compromised by none. However, the harsh reality I have come to realize is that if that external threat intends to breach your property, we are essentially defenseless. Recently, in my area there have been 11 burglaries including 4 in West Molesey and 3 in Walton- On-Thames.

These crimes were carried out by a Chilean gang, and two of these burglaries happened the next road down from my house, where my friend lives. The house opposite her, which she babysits regularly, was broken into through the glass back doors and another house down her road had money and jewelry stolen by the same gang. The gang targeted items of high value and even robbed a couple of people after they came home from work in my area at knifepoint.

They have now been arrested and sentenced to a total of 21 years, however this threat has left me and my local friends feeling unsettled, nervous and anxious about our homes as although locals ‘leave lights on to create an appearance of being home’, and the police officer gave helpful advice to ‘hide valuables’ he summarized the situation best as ‘if they decide to target your property, there is nothing you can do to stop it.’ - Notre Dame Senior School, Grace Lee