With all of us locked down through 2020, theft obviously fell. Unfortunately they are beginning to rise again, with an increase of 33 per cent between January 2021 and September 2021.
Data from Aviva shows that theft claims increased by 10 per cent during October and November in 2019, compared to the monthly average between January and September that year. Halifax Home Insurance revealed the insurer had seen a 107 per cent increase in claims for burglaries between April and October this year.
Did you know that three in five burglaries occur during the hours of darkness or during dawn or dusk, according to Office for National Statistics data.
With more people returning to their offices and the nights getting darker, burglars have more of an opportunity to break into people’s homes.
Sarah Applegate, data insights lead for Aviva, said: ‘Theft claims fell during 2020 when many people were at home more, but we are now beginning to see them creep up again as individuals get out and about. A seasoned burglar will know how to spot a property where nobody’s home and will use calendar events to their advantage – but with a few simple steps, there are ways people can minimise their chance of being targeted.’
Top Tips to Protect Your Home or Workplace
While your home could be more at risk in the evenings, there are things you can do to protect your property.
1. Lock up your property: Burglars are opportunists and look for easy access, such as an open door or window.
According to Aviva a quarter of people admit to leaving upstairs windows open when going out, while 21 per cent say they have gone to bed and forgotten to lock an external door.
Thieves only need a few seconds to gain access to an open property and this can even happen while you’re in your home, so keep doors and windows shut and locked wherever possible.
2. Make your home seem occupied: Use timers or leave lights on if you’re out and aren’t going to get back before dark.
Something as simple as leaving the radio on can make a burglar think twice
3. Install a visible burglar alarm, CCTV and outside lighting: Alarms systems are always a strong deterrent.
Good lighting, particularly motion-detector lights, CCTV and visible alarms can make it difficult for burglars to hide while they try to break in.
CCTV is an essential tool for deterring potential burglars and helping the police track down offenders.
4. Don’t let thieves go fishing: Never leave anything valuable near doors, the letterbox or a window. Thieves are known to use coat hangers and even fishing rods to hook them.
5. Don’t leave ladders and tools lying around outside: Most professional thieves don’t carry tools with them. They will take full advantage of anything you leave outside. Always lock them away.
6. Don’t leave valuables lying around in view of windows: Laptops, consoles, games and DVDs are favoured by burglars as they are easy to carry and sell.
7. Password-protect your electronic devices: Where possible always employ 2 step authentication. Back up your devices to the cloud, and if you do write down passwords, don’t leave them where they can easily be found. A post it note on the computer is not the right approach.
8. Don’t store valuables in the bedroom: It’s convenient to have your jewellery in a box in your bedroom, creating an easy one stop shop for your most valuable items. A safe would be ideal, but simply spreading them around the house is a step in the right directions.
9. Security mark your property: Use your postcode, with your house or flat number, or the first three letters of the name of your home. This will increase the chance of your property being returned to you.
10. Glass panels on doors can be a real weak spot: If possible, replace it with laminated glass or using a security film over the glass that make it harder to break.
11. Don’t invite burglars back: Thieves will look for a calendar to see when you might be away again, that’s when they come back for heavier, bulkier items.