Crime & Vandalism

Enough glass in Britain breaks under accidental impact. But deliberate attack and  intent to damage glass in pursuit of crime will exact a huge toll.

The notes which follow will discuss the reasons for breaking glass. They will also show means for giving support to glass panes under all types of attack.

The use of window film is discussed. A  policy for defence of glass is laid out for those in need of support to consider.

Criminal Attack Upon Glass

Breaking through glass seems to be the method most used for gaining access into any building. Glass is deemed as far more brittle than other types of building material and therefore seen as an easy target for a thief or an intruder.

Breaking glass can inflict dangerous injury and can be noisy, but it may still appear to offer the swift route for unauthorised entry.

Any type of building can become a target – a home; a tower block; an office; a factory or warehouse; a shop; a school or leisure centre. The list is endless.

An attack on a window aims to gain instant entry, often prior to opening an exit door from the inside and so easing the taking away of goods.

A deadly side effect of entry via a smashed window pane is the wide use of arson as a means to conceal evidence of the crime. The cost of glass repair or stock replacement will pale into nothing against the cost of fire damage.

Much will depend upon the state of mind and intelligence of the intruder. Often a kick or blow from a brick, piece of wood or metal bar is enough to permit an instant grab at things from a shopfront.

A sprung centre punch, a ball bearing, a bullet or slug can bring down the biggest panes of toughened glass.

Expert use of a glass cutter can remove a neat circle of glass with little noise; a car or van may be driven through a large street level pane – either to open up a big enough aperture, to drag out the whole frame or for using to remove any stolen items.

The type of glass you might select needs to match the possible risk. Thus, a jeweller will fit a more secure type of glass, possibly a multi-laminate, to resist heavy, repetitive impact or worse.

The ram raider can be stopped by security posts in the pavement. Even before the glass can be struck.

Thick toughened glass is often a serious choice, but can drop in a heap if hit in the wrong place or with a metal object.

Window film may be applied onto almost any glass to beef up its impact performance. It will also hold broken glass together and form a barrier to an attempt to fight a way through the pane. This extra level of defence will depend upon the type of film and the way in which it is fitted onto the surface of a glass pane.

A certain type of solar film can offer complete privacy at night even if a light is shone on it. Most intruders will never risk getting through glass without a clear view of that lies beyond.

A break alarm can be fitted with success to most glass. Hammer upon the surface of a pane fitted with such protection and an audible alarm is set off. This can panic an intruder and force them to leave the scene.

Ensure that all glass is fitted to a high standard. Check that the frames are secure. Fit window locks and keep them locked at night.