20% increase in burglaries nationally over festive period since 2014
According to crime stats for the financial year 2016/17, there were 6278 burglaries in England and Wales over the 2016 Christmas period. This compares to 5524 the year before and 5222 in 2014 – a 20% increase in 3 years.
The survey also reveals that West Yorkshire had the most burglaries in 2016 with 1062 over Christmas though London figures were not included as the Metropolitan Police force didn’t respond to the Freedom of Information request. The safest places to live seem to be Lincolnshire and North Wales with only 2 and 13 burglaries respectively between 2014 and 2016.
Many of these break ins have taken place while people are away from home over Christmas, visiting family or away on holiday. With so many new items in our homes at this time of year, an unoccupied house is a gift to a burglar.
Many of our Christmas home security tips that we shared during December dealt with the issue of securing homes while away including setting burglar alarms, hiding valuables from view, using timers for lights and keeping doors locked up. Of course, we mustn’t be complacent now that Christmas is over as we all go back to work and school and our homes become unoccupied again. Despite all the warnings not to do it, we saw lots of Facebook and Instagram posts over the last week or two showing people’s Christmas ‘stashes’ and speaking of how spoiled they’ve been. You may as well give the burglars a shopping list! Videos of the kids’ faces as they open their gifts are lovely but don’t share them publicly. Also, be mindful of disposing of packaging for expensive items as burglars are not averse to going through the bins to see what you’ve got. With missed bin collections for bank holidays and bad weather, rubbish is often hanging around for much longer giving them more opportunity to have a rummage through.
Obviously, it’s too early to know the burglary figures for this Christmas but we hope that the trend is not continuing. If you experienced a break in, or attempted break in, over Christmas this year then we would urge you to increase your home security such as having a burglar alarm installed or locks upgraded. If you didn’t then we would still advise that you take preventative action to avoid it happening – we’re sure that those who were unlucky enough to do so wished that they had after the event.
For home security advice call us on 0800 612 9799 or pop into our security shop in Wakefield, just off junction 40 of the M1.