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Almost two thirds of burglaries happen while someone is at home

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Households have been warned to be on their guard as ‘burglary season’ begins.

The amount of burglaries which take place while someone is at home has crept up over the past decade, from 57% 10 years ago, to 64% now, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Meanwhile, data from insurer Aviva from the past two years found home theft claims increase by 15% during October and November, compared to the monthly average.

Access by doors

According to Aviva, more than a quarter of people (26%) don’t lock their doors when they’re at home.

ONS statistics show that in the year to March 2020, 76% of domestic burglaries in England and Wales were accessed through a door, and in 24% of cases where entry was gained, the door was unlocked.

Perhaps strangely, Aviva found that people who have experienced a burglary first-hand are less likely to lock their doors when at home, than those who haven’t.

Nearly four in 10 (37%) people who have been burgled are willing to still leave their door unlocked, alongside 32% who have experienced an attempted burglary.

Access by windows

ONS figures show in the year to March 2020, one in five (20%) burglaries were accessed through windows.

Despite this, the Aviva study found 45% of UK residents leave windows unlocked in unoccupied rooms when they are at home.

Sarah Applegate, insight and strategy lead at Aviva, says: “We tend to imagine that burglaries happen when everyone is out, but the unfortunate reality is they can take place at any time, whether we’re home or not. Most burglaries are opportunistic, so if a door or window is left unlocked, someone can be in and out of a house in just a few seconds. And if we’re at home but on another floor or in another room, we may not even be aware of an intruder, until it’s too late.

“Our claims data shows that thefts tend to increase during autumn and winter months, so it’s really not worth taking a chance. Simple tasks like locking doors and windows on both homes and outbuildings can significantly reduce the risk of being burgled. We’d urge everyone to get into the habit of locking up, even when at home.”