Residential burglaries are beginning to increase in some areas of the UK following the pandemic. ONS data, analysed by Quotezone.co.uk, has identified core regions most at risk of home break-ins, as life and working patterns return to near-normal.*
Unsurprisingly, coronavirus restrictions which have created a cultural shift in patterns of behaviour, have significantly affected the landscape of crime. Periods of lockdown where homes were almost permanently occupied sparked a decrease in burglaries, while other offences like fraud and computer-misuse sky-rocketed.
Although, looking at the overall number of burglaries in the last 12 months, figures are still lower than they were before the pandemic, it’s likely this will only be temporary. It is possible that rates of crime have remained low in residential areas as a result of a continued work-from-home culture that is widespread across the UK.
Travel and airport chaos has also grounded many UK residents that would have otherwise been away from their home for longer periods of time this summer, a period when burglaries are usually at their peak.
The North East of England has experienced an increase in burglaries from 3% to 7%, over the past year, while some areas in the UK such as the East Midlands are still showing a steady decline of residential burglaries with a drop of 12% in Northamptonshire. Interestingly, London sits somewhere in the middle with a 6% decrease in residential burglaries over the last year.**
Helen Rolph, home insurance comparison expert at Quotezone.co.uk, comments: “Although the data thankfully shows a decrease in residential burglaries in many areas across the UK, there are clear signs emerging in others that show a return to pre-pandemic levels of home break-ins.
“It’s easy in this environment to get complacent, but now is a good time to rethink the way that households are protecting their homes. Most domestic burglaries are committed by opportunists, so investing in some additional safety measures to make your home look occupied and looked after, will help to act as a deterrent. Even simple measures such as security lights or lights on timers, window locks or joining a neighbourhood watch scheme, can be a great first step – and can help reduce the cost of home insurance.
“Most standard home insurance policies cover theft of valuables and damage caused by attempted theft but if there are bespoke items that are valued at more than £1,000, they’ll need added as a named item to the policy to ensure they’re covered.”
Neighbourhood Watch Network CEO, John Hayward-Cripps, comments: “In London, there has been a decrease in burglary mainly due to more people continuing to work from home; however, they are seeing an increase in parcel theft and theft from garden sheds, so it is important to remain vigilant. The police in Northants have been working hard to reduce burglaries, which is now evident in declining numbers.
As with all types of crime, prevention is much better than cure. Simple measures, such as locking your windows, leaving indoor lights on a timer, double or deadlocking your doors, and having exterior lights on sensors, can significantly reduce your chances of being burgled. You can download our burglary prevention checklist here.”
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