With Christmas just a few weeks away, a leading insurer is warning homeowners of a potential surge in burglaries – and says many may be too complacent about such crime.

The UK’s burglary rates have continued to increase, and 74% of the police force reported that there was an increase in thefts during the past 3 months.

An estimated 65,000 burglaries were recorded between July and September 2021 – an average of 712 every day, according to the latest Burglary Barometer from Churchill Home Insurance. 

However, it stated that Britons worry less about burglary today than three months ago, despite an overall increase in thefts. 

Increase: 74% of police forces have reported a rise in burglaries over the last three months

Increase: 74% Of police officers have reported an increase in burglaries during the past three months

The increase in burglaries was 6 percentage points higher than the prior three months. This trend is set to accelerate ahead of Christmas, as people fill their homes and businesses with expensive presents. 

However, the City of London Police experienced the largest increase of 115 percent. This figure is easily distorted by the small Square Mile population. 

Then came Cleveland and Suffolk which experienced rises of 33 percent and 30 percent, respectively. 

The burglary rate has risen for the second consecutive quarter. This follows a low period during coronavirus lockdowns. Burglars were dissuaded by the increased number of homeowners.

The biggest drops in burglaries have been seen in Norfolk and Lincolnshire, where the theft rate is down 20% compared with the previous three months. 

Staffordshire Police followed at 10%. 

Although there has been an increase in the theft of items, Britons worry less about burglary now than they did three months earlier. 

Churchill’s research suggests that nearly half of the current population has no concern about being burglarized.

This 18% is an increase on the earlier year’s figure of less than 40%. 

Experts say this attitude change, along with rising crime rates could lead to a perfect storm in the same way that burglary rates peak. 

Sarah Khan, Head of Churchill Home Insurance, stated: “While burglary rates are on the rise throughout the year but as the UK recovers from the pandemic, we have found that Britons don’t worry as much about being burgled.

“We recommend that anyone who thinks their house is in danger should take immediate action before Christmas, as burglars often target homes unoccupied.

Police Constabulary has the largest drop in burglaries Burglaries Quartly changes
Lincolnshire Police 553 -20.50%
Norfolk Constabulary 422 -20.10%
Staffordshire Police 803 -10.90%
Cheshire Constabulary 574 -9.90%
Dorset Police 658 -7.30%
Police Constabulary sees the greatest increase in burglaries  Burglaries Quartly changes 
City of London Police 69 115.60%
Cleveland Police 1,204 33.80%
Suffolk Constabulary 527 30.10%
Police Service of Northern Ireland 1,102 27.30%
West Mercia Police 1,191 22.70%

There was an increase of 10 percent in reported burglaries, as well as a rise of 23 percent in stolen property claims to home insurance, in comparison with the three previous months.

This rising danger may not be surprising, as further research by the insurer revealed that Britons are planning on spending £15.7billion on Christmas presents this year.

The lure of larger quantities of valuables is appealing to burglars, but they will also seek to exploit people traveling to see their family. 

About 37% of UK adults said they would travel to visit family and friends during this time.

Khan stated that the festive season was a very special time in the calendar for many people. It allows them to relax, see their families, and spend quality time with their loved ones.

“The danger of burglars targeting homes when they are full of presents, and people spending time away from their homes can make it more difficult for them to get into trouble. But the good news is many people will be in a position to take some simple precautions so that Christmas is a memorable one.


Homes are encouraged to not make it obvious how many presents they have under the tree

Encourage your home to hide how many gifts they have under the tree.

What you can do to make your house safer 

Churchill offers these tips for making your winter home safe from burglary.

• Hide the presents: Churchill’s research shows that 41% of UK adults will store Christmas gifts under their tree.

This is an old tradition that has been handed down for centuries, but it may also be a deterrent to thieves.

• Don’t use cars as storage:Cars can be easier targets for thieves than houses, so it is a good idea to hide presents inside your home, in order that children or burglars cannot find them.

• Lit up like a Christmas tree: Burglars love dark and isolated areas that are easy to access without being detected. You should always ensure that any such places near your property are equipped with CCTV and motion-sensing lighting so there’s nowhere to hide.

• Outside chance: You must take care of Christmas decorations. A quarter of people say they’re planning to put up decorations outside their homes but research reveals that more than 12million people had external Christmas decorations either stolen or damaged by people lacking in festive spirit, amounting to a total loss of £1.6billion.

• Make it look like you’re home for Christmas: You should cancel all papers and milk that you may have left behind before you leave on vacation. Install timers to turn on radios or lights automatically. It will be harder for burglars to find a vacant house.

• Prepare for the worst, hope for the best:It is possible to be the victim of a home invasion. You can rest assured that your home is covered by comprehensive, up-to date insurance that covers any property that was stolen in an attack.

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