Co-op Insurance has announced that home burglary is almost twice as likely to occur in winter than in summer. The insurance provider came to the alarming conclusion after analysing claims data from the last three years, which pointed to a 43% increase in break-ins during November and December.
The company also found that victims of burglary are two-and-a-half times more likely to fall prey again further down the line and that Christmas can bring out careless habits in some homeowners which increase the chances of them being targeted.
Winter is coming
Compiled from claims made to Co-op Insurance since 2014, the study showed that the darker, colder months are when pilferers are at their most prolific. It’s thought that the longer hours of darkness afford criminals greater opportunity to roam the streets and gardens unseen, while colder temperatures mean there are less people outside to hide from.
Meanwhile, the data also showed that those who had been unlucky enough to have fallen foul of opportunistic thieves were 150% more likely to be targeted a second time. On average, the second attack is likely to occur roughly 16 months after the first break-in.
Christmas breeds complacency
At the same time, Co-op also conducted a survey among 2,000 of its customers to find out a little more about their Yuletide habits. 38% of those asked revealed they still leave their presents under the Christmas tree, despite the fact that this essentially advertises possible booty to would-be robbers as they pass by the windows.
55% of those who said they stored their gifts in plain view said they’d never even thought of the security implications of doing so, while the remaining 45% said that the joy of the tradition was more important to them than the risks of burglary.
Finally, almost a third of interviewees admitting to leaving the fairy lights on while they were away from home. Not only does this further illuminate the goodies underneath the tree, it’s also a serious fire risk which could end in disaster.
A word to the wise
The Co-op’s Chief of Home Insurance Caroline Hunter had some valuable advice for those keen to get into the festive spirit, without jeopardising the safety and security of their home.
“It’s no surprise that more than two-fifths of Brits uphold the long-standing tradition of leaving presents under the Christmas tree,” she said. “Our advice is to store presents and other valuables in a secure location out of view from potential, opportunistic thieves. In the attic, under the stairs or in a large suitcase are good alternatives.”
“We also know that leaving a light on in the house is a key deterrent for burglars. However, fairy lights are a fire hazard and should not be left on whilst unattended. We would suggest leaving a landing light on when out of the house or installing motion-activated security lights. This gives the illusion that there is someone at home without risking safety.”
Security is key
While keeping presents out of sight and switching off fairy lights might go some way to reducing the risk of burglary during peak months, there’s really no substitute for a state-of-the-art security system.
At Multicoms Solutions, we have a whole host of intruder alerts, CCTV security cameras, and access control systems to increase safety and give you peace of mind. To find out more about how we can help secure your home or workplace, get in touch with us today.