The economy may be on its knees, but there's one sector of British society that's doing very well - and that's down to a huge rise in property crime some of the tabloids are calling a credit crunch crimewave.
Certainly the number of burglaries rose by four per cent to 69,000 between July and September last year, so now's the time to review your home security measures and install or beef up an alarm system that can help to protect your home, family and belongings.
One of the biggest growth areas has been in the use of IP security cameras - video cameras that can be connected wired or wirelessly to a home network. These often contain their own web servers, enabling you to dial into them using a PC or mobile phone while you're out of the house.
There are also a growing number of low-cost alarm systems that do something similar, although if you're really concerned about crime, some kind of monitored security system is best.
Here are eight great examples of some of the best systems around and remember - don't have nightmares - your chances of falling victim are still relatively rare.
This discreet IP camera comes with its own Wi-Fi connection and a built-in webserver, enabling you to access it remotely using a PC or any device that has an internet browser. Its capable of shooting JPEG stills and 30fps MPEG motion video simultaneously, even in low light down to 0.5 lux.
The D-Link DSC-2121 can even be set to alert you by email whenever it detects motion. We particularly like the fact that you can network 32 cameras together using D-Link's own D-ViewCam software, enabling you to keep a watchful eye on every room in your home.
£9.99 to £24.99
If you're on a tight budget or just want something very simple, then something from Yale's range of standalone alarms could be ideal. They're essentially one-box systems that combine a sensor, controller and siren all-in-one - so they're if you live in a bedsit or student accommodation. for example.
There are nine different alarms to choose from ranging from the SAA5060 door alarm with keypad to the SAA5000 - a motion sensor alarm that has the ability to call up to three different numbers when it's triggered, while also firing up a 125db siren.
All of Yale's standalone alarms are battery-powered so setup is a breeze.
£249 + £9.99 per month subscription
Designed for small to medium size homes, this DIY wireless kit comes with everything you need to make your house secure. That includes motion, door and window sensors, plus an alarm detector - a gizmo that trigger's the system's brain if other unconnected alarms go off like those for fire and carbon monoxide.
When AlertMe detects an alarm it automatically contacts you via email and / or text message. It also enables you to monitor your home remotely via broadband.
One of the best things about the AlertMe setup is that it's extensible - you can easily add extra sensors and even use it to trigger items like lights or your TV to make it seem as if someone's home even when they're not.
£176.16 + £5 per month subscription
Like the AlertMe, this highly affordable BT kit comprises a range of wireless components that you can easily install and set up yourself - there's no need for a professional installer to call. As well as the central alarm box, it also includes a keyfob (so you can enable / disable the alarm remotely), a magnetic door detector and two movement sensors. The VP1000 can also be extended, enabling you to dot up to 28 different sensors around the house. To gain access remotely you'll have to pay a £5 per month subscription charge (the first three months are free).
£99 + £9.99 per month subscription
As the name suggests, this Starter Kit comes with all the kid you need to get a basic alarm system up and running, including a Panasonic IP camera, a single door / window sensor and central control box.
The monthly subscription, of course, enables you to access the system from anywhere (at work, even abroad) so you can view still images and video from the camera on a PC or compatible mobile phone.
We particularly like the fact that this system automatically stores any footage recorded by an alarm trigger remotely - it's held on a hosted secure server, so the perp can't destroy any evidence by trashing the kit. The system can also be extended to control your home lighting and can even incorporate water sensors - handy if your washing machine springs a leak while you're out.
6. ADT Fusion
From £450, plus £20-£25 monthly monitoring charge • ADT Fire & Security 0800 457 999
This wired / wireless system has one big advantage over some of the others here in that includes a subscription to a full manned monitoring service, which can elicit an emergency service response if your home comes under attack.
The base system comes with a range of door, windows and motion sensors plus an internal siren and speaker extension (both of which can be used to scare off many would-be burglars).
The Fusion can also be extended to give you full home security coverage, including carbon monoxide and fire detectors, CCTV and a video door entry system. You even have the option to add an Asset Finder - a system that can track belongings like your car or computer using hidden GSM transponders that send alerts via the mobile network should they be taken without your consent.
£POA (Electrium 01543 455000)
It's a sad fact of life than many property crimes are opportunistic in nature - a thief simply spots an open door or window and uses that to enter your home. The knock-on effect of that can be that your insurance company can refuse to pay out for anything that is taken since there's no evidence of forced entry into your home.
Siemens Building Controls systems can help solve both problems by offering a central-locking system that automatically closes all the windows and doors in your home at the press of a button - just like similar systems on cars.
Siemens Building Controls can also be used to automatically control your blinds, curtains and lighting so it always look like there's someone home. It's not cheap, but it is very, very clever.
8. Bamboo Boy
We've featured this green chappie before, but we think it's worth including again here because it's a really great way to keep yours kids secure. Essentially it's a kids' radio which has had had its guts removed, which have then been replaced a small security camera.
The Bamboo Boy nanny-cam enables you to keep tabs on the tyke while you sit downstairs watching TV. You can even record his nocturnal activities on video - all the better to embarrass him with when he gets his first girlfriend. Everyone says Ahhh.
The camera is wireless, has a range of up to 100m and has 380-line PAL resolution. It also works down to light levels of just 0.5 lux.
Sign up for the free weekly TechRadar newsletter
Get tech news delivered straight to your inbox. Register for the free TechRadar newsletter and stay on top of the week's biggest stories and product releases. Sign up at http://www.techradar.com/register