The Christmas period should be a time to relax, unwind and spend time with your loved ones. Unfortunately that is not the case for all. A growing number of opportunists choose this time of year to take advantage of empty homes and increased consumer spending to steal valuable presents.
Our blog will breakdown some of the crime data of the past few years, highlighting the growing trend of December burglaries. It will also give a breakdown of the regions most prone to home burglaries. The blog will end with some of the ways you can prevent and minimise the impact of home burglaries.
Christmas Spending – The facts
Christmas is the always busiest shopping period of the year, leaving homes stocked up with a range of top of the line gadgets, jewellery and other valuables, and it appears that this year is no exception.
Research by Quantics suggests that 50% of British shoppers plan on spending the same amount on Christmas as 2019 and 16% plan on spending even more than last year.
The risk of the Christmas period
Christmas time has been known to bring some unwanted risks. Every year since 2015 the UK has witnessed around 30000 burglaries in the month of December and it’s not hard to see why.
The increased amount of empty houses during the Christmas period, alongside the fact that homes are often full of expensive gifts makes December burglaries a no brainer for thieves.
2020 Burglary Figures
2020 has seen a significant drop in the overall number burglaries due to Covid-19. Unfortunately since the lowering of restrictions in June, the number of cases of burglary are on the rise.
Burglaries per Region
The map below breaks down the total home burglaries in 2019 by region. Hover over the map to find out how your local area has done.
Wales has had a considerably lower amount of burglaries as it can be seen in the map bellow.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Although the overall risk of burglary has dropped significantly this year, it is still very important to be prepared for the worst.
Installing security measures is the easiest way to protect your home and valuable items. There are a variety of measures you can take, and we will be going over a few of them.
CCTV – A CCTV system for your home can be helpful to both prevent burglaries, as well as to catch the burglars if a robbery takes place. A survey of incarcerated burglars in the US has proved that outdoor cameras can act as a deterrent to burglars when choosing a property.
Alarms- Burglar alarms can also be a very good idea to burglars if your house is left empty, as it warns surrounding neighbours that something may be happening to your property, or luckily scare the burglars away.
Doors and windows- all access points to your home should be as secure as possible, especially if you’re going to be away over the Christmas period. A British Standard reinforced lock in all doors and windows can go a long way to protect your home.
Avoid posting presents and location on social media
Social media can also attract burglars to your home over the Christmas period. Housebreakers can see that your property might be vacant or perhaps see your brand new mobile phone or PS5 and take advantage of these situations. Refraining from posting your belongings or announcing that you will be away over the Christmas period on social media sites will reduce your chances of being burgled.
A contents insurance policy that will protect you
Having a contents insurance policy will always help in the case of a burglary. Unfortunately homeowners will be in for a surprise if they don’t understand the limits of their insurance policies.
Standard content insurers usually have a ‘single item limit’. This dictates how much they will pay if something is to happen to one of your personal possessions. This limit can be as low as £1500, so if you’re purchasing high value items for your family and friends it is likely that you will need a specialist contents insurance.
Standard insurance policies can also have considerably low maximum claim limits on all valuables. This means that there could be a limit to your overall insurance pay-out, despite the value of the items claimed.
Saying that, having the right level of cover can massively help you if your house was burgled over the Christmas period.
Three Castle’s Home and Contents insurance policies offer unlimited contents cover, reassuring you that if anything is to happen over the Christmas period, all your possessions will be covered.
Find out more about Three Castle’s Contents insurance policy here.