Paderborn Calling

In the ‘60s and ‘70s I lived in a block of flats in Balham which had radios built into the wall. 

My Nan, whenever she went out, would leave the radio (or wireless as she called it) on – to give the impression (mainly to potential burglars) that someone was at home.  One Yale, two Chubbs and an assortment of chains you’d not find at Fort Knox clearly not enough for peace of mind.

In my view, some background noise works as a far greater deterrent than others.

If you want to discourage burglars, then have “Mother of mine”; “There’s no one quite like grandma” or anything by Reginald Dixon on a continual loop blaring out.  These will work like the thing you put in your garden to ward off foxes. 

Playing anything by Mahler will make the burglar believe you’re about to top yourself and won’t want to engage in conversation. 

At weekends, any burglar hearing Two-Way Family Favourites will assume you have a relative based in West Germany and therefore will seek reprisals when home on leave.  Or you have Judith Chalmers held captive.

Back in the ‘60s the option was the Light, Home Service or Third Programme – so your burglar prevention could include Music while you work; Something involving Dame Isobel Barnett or 16-hours of The Ring Cycle.  It depended on how valuable your cigarette card collection was.

Nowadays you can simply say, “Alexa, play something which’ll frighten burglars

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