At this time of year, many homeowners in the UK decide to step up their home security, spurred on by darker nights and houses full of expensive gifts wrapped up for Christmas.
According to a new report from Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch, people are being warned to ensure they have robust security measures in place to keep their homes safe. Business data from the insurer reveals that the number of theft claims increase by 35% in the months following the clocks going back, with November being the month when most burglaries take place.
Throughout the year, light fingered thieves are most likely to make their move on a Friday and, with November being the most common month for home break ins, Fridays in November prove to be a particularly popular time for burglars to strike.
Co-op’s claims data also reveals that people living in London are the most likely to be a victim of home contents theft with Carlisle and Manchester also being crime hotspots.
Of the 41% of UK adults who have been a victim of burglary, 28% said it happened during the night. 24% were targeted in the afternoon, 20% in the evening, whilst just 6% were burgled in the morning. When it comes to how burglars are breaking and entering, 33% broke down a door, 23% smashed a window and 10% gained access via a door or window which was accidentally left open.
For this reason, we would like to share the following top tips to protect our homes from possible burglary:
- Leave a light on when out or invest in a light timer.
- Install exterior security lights at the front and back of the property
- If possible, invest in a CCTV system
- Don't post locations on social media sites – holidays and so on
- Ensure doors and windows are locked
- Set burglar alarms
- Ensure sheds/outbuildings are secured
- Don't leave valuables on display
- Never leave car keys within easy reach of a letterbox
- Don't leave ladders outside your home
Colin Butler, Head Insurance at Co-op Insurance said: “Unfortunately, year on year, our claims data shows that darker nights lead to more burglaries. As the nights draw in, we’re urging people to be vigilant when it comes to their personal safety, as well as the safety of their home.
Our report unlocks the real issues that people are facing in their neighbourhoods, as well as the long-lasting impact this type of crime can have on victims. Our continuing partnership with Neighbourhood Watch has never been more important as we continue to encourage neighbours to look out for one another.”
John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch, commented: “It’s worrying that so many people have been a victim of neighbourhood crime. At Neighbourhood Watch, we believe that building strong communities where neighbours look out for each other is key to crime prevention. Being neighbourly and getting involved in your community brings long lasting rewards such as reducing fear of crime and making people proud of where they live.”