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Things that go bump in the night: Dads ‘too scared’ to investigate

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Nearly three-quarters of fathers are too scared to go and investigate strange noises around the home at night time, it appears.

And, to make things worse, a national CCTV company has found that it’s mum who plucks up courage, grabs a torch, and heads off to go and see.

According to Yorkshire-based CCTV.co.uk, there’s a gender gap where blokes are the scaredy-cats who are more likely to cower under the duvet than face their demons down in the kitchen.

“This is really going to blow male machismo out of the water,” says CCTV.co.uk spokesperson Jonathan Ratcliffe, “but it looks like dads prefer the warmth and safety of bed over and above the thought of facing something unpleasant downstairs.”

CCTV.co.uk asked over 250 families who would be the one to go and check out mysterious noises in the middle of the night. And the results are somewhat disturbing reading for the male race:

  • Dad – 28%
  • Mum – 70%
  • Kids – 2%

CCTV.co.uk’s Jonathan Ratcliffe: “These results don’t do us chaps any good whatsoever, and it looks like a combination of comfort, cowardice and – in the odd case – realism that’s to blame.”

Asked to explain themselves, these dads were happy to make their excuses:

  • James, Midlands: “It’s always the cat wondering around in the dark. Why should I get out of bed for that four-legged idiot?”
  • Ron, Manchester: “If it’s somebody stealing my TV, I’d be quite happy to let them get on with it. I’m insured, and I don’t want to end up in hospital being a hero.”
  • Ahmed, London: “It’s never anything, and I have to be up for work. Why bother? Bed’s warm and safe, isn’t it?”
  • Brian, Glasgow: “My lad’s in the rugby squad and stomps around enough to wake the dead. Anybody hearing him on the stairs would be long gone, so I tell him it’s his job.”

Wives showed absolutely no sympathy for their cowardly husbands:

  • Jill, Reading: “It’s always me who goes and looks when there’s a bump downstairs. He pretends to be asleep so it’s me who has to go.”
  • Pat, Cardiff: “I can’t remember any time he’s gone to check out odd noises. He’ll claim it’s nothing and roll over. I’m the one lying awake scared witless.”

But there were a brave minority who said they’d go ahead and check out that noise, come what may:

  • Danny, Kent: “Of course I’d be down there like a shot, turning on all the lights as I go. I’ve got my family to think about, haven’t I?”

CCTV.co.uk’s Jonathan Ratcliffe says that what’s known in America as “home invasion” is very rare in this country, but it’s still a particular fear of many home owners.

“We’ve an unrealistic fear of burglars entering our homes in the dead of night. While it certainly happens, it’s far rarer than you think. And there are things you can do to deter criminals in the first place.”

Jonathan says securing doors and windows at night should be at the top of everybody’s list. And while a CCTV system isn’t on everybody’s horizon, it certainly works to keep the house-breakers at bay.

“Anything that looks like it might cause a burglar problems is a plus when it comes to security. Even a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign is usually enough,” he says.

And there’s one bit of advice that is absolutely vital if you think there is an intruder in the house:

  • Do your best to scare the other person away and avoid a confrontation at all costs. They may be armed, and the consequences could be tragic.

“While our dads are great big chickens when it comes to investigating bumps in the night, the bad guys are even more so.

“But it’s never bad guys, trust us. It’s swamp monsters.”

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