Four in 10 adults have turned to “DIY security” like doorbell cameras and alarm systems in the past year because of the Tory Government’s failure to tackle crime, the Liberal Democrats have claimed.
Some residents have even bought a dog in order to feel safer at home, according to a poll commissioned by the party.
Nearly one in five (19%) respondents had a doorbell camera fitted, one in six had installed CCTV and one in 10 had sought stronger door locks, the party said.
Crime has become a key political battleground in the run-up to May’s local elections, with each main party ramping up commitments to law and order as they compete for votes.
As well as home security measures, some 6% of respondents said they had bought a dog because they are worried about crime in their area, according to the party.
Others have joined their Neighbourhood Watch in the past year and one in five said they have avoided leaving the house after dark.
The data is based on interviews carried out by polling firm Savanta with 2,181 UK adults online between April 21-23 this year.
It has been weighted to be representative of the UK by age, sex, region and social grade.
The party is calling for a burglary response guarantee so that victims are guaranteed a visit by a police officer at the scene of the crime.
Sir Ed said: “By leaving our streets unsafe, the Conservatives are creating padlock neighbourhoods where millions of residents are having to take security in their own hands.
“It is a scandal that millions of Brits are turning to DIY security because the Conservative Government has completely failed to tackle crime on our streets. It’s a scandal and they should be ashamed.
“People pay their fair share and at the very least expect proper community policing, where officers are visible on their streets.
“Instead, people have been left behind and taken for granted – leaving our neighbourhoods more unsafe.”
A Conservative spokesman hit back, accusing the Lib Dems of a “shameful record” on crime and pointing to the Tory manifesto pledge to recruit 20,000 new officers by 2023.
They pointed to the Lib Dems voting against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – which was opposed by some groups for introducing curbs on the right to protest but passed through Parliament last year – as an example.
“If the Liberal Democrats truly cared about people feeling safe in their homes they would not have such a shameful record when it comes to standing up to dangerous and violent criminals,” the spokesman said.