NEARLY half of people in Wales (47 per cent) keep a makeshift weapon in their home to protect themselves against intruders this winter, a new survey has revealed.

The poll of 2,000 adults, done by security firm ADT, found adults in Wales feel nervous when they are home alone, and keep some form of household item close at hand to defend themselves. Most popular items reserved as possible weapons include heavy torches, baseball bats and walking sticks.

With the average person’s home broken into at least twice, and nearly two-thirds of the break-ins in Wales happening when at least one person was at home (62 per cent), the study shows people are resorting to make-shift protection.

It was revealed a quarter burglaries take place in Wales during the winter months (23 per cent) with a third (31 per cent) admitting to feeling unsafe, with the emotional damage much worse than any material loss.

After robberies had taken place, a fifth of homeowners also admitted to feeling that their property wasn’t their ‘home’ anymore (15 per cent).

Mark Shaw of ADT said: “We are shocked by these results and that people would try to protect themselves in this way.

“It is understandable that people feel vulnerable at the moment particularly with recent data showing a rise in property crime after a 20 year decline but the key to keeping your home safe is always about prevention.

“We understand that homeowners, more than ever before, want to keep their homes and families safe.

“Simple security measures such as keeping doors and windows locked, investing in a security light or a monitored alarm will help ensure householders and their possessions are kept safe.

“With Christmas fast approaching, most homeowners will have security at the front of their minds and we are urging homeowners to ensure their home is safe this festive season.”