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Burglaries on the up as life returns to normal

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The number of burglaries is on the rise as people start leaving their homes more often.

Churchill’s Burglary Barometer – a quarterly tracker investigating burglary risk and perceptions – found that police forces reported a 6.2% increase in burglaries in Q2 of 2021 when compared to Q1.

This equates to 3,600 more burglaries between April and June than January to March, and accounts for £169m worth of stolen goods in the same time period.

With millions of Brits now able to socialise and travel again following the lifting of lockdown restrictions, the research also shows that a significant number of Brits are concerned by the prospect of being burgled once they start spending more time away from home.

Of the nearly 11 million people planning to go on holiday this summer, 42% are concerned about the prospect of their home being burgled, while 37% of people planning to go out more locally are concerned.

However, the most concerned group are the four million people planning on returning to the workplace, with 69% (2.7 million) saying that they are worried about being burgled.

While not all offices are back operating just yet, a fifth (20%) of people are spending more time out of their homes taking advantage of new freedoms, while the same percentage now expect to go on holiday for a week or more this summer.

Worryingly, 34% of burglaries happen when the resident is in the property, with 22% occurring during the night and 12% during the day when someone is at home. Other opportunistic times are when the occupier is on holiday (19%) or out in the evening (15%).

Churchill’s Burglary Barometer also found that more than a third (37%) of Brits say that they are both unconcerned about the prospect of burglary and that their home is well-protected.

Steven Williams, head of Churchill home insurance, said: “With lockdown restrictions easing it is unsurprising that people are taking advantage and leaving their homes more. Our habits have changed drastically over the past 18 months and we may have become complacent about home security as we have spent so much time there.

“As people prepare to go on holiday and return to the office, we are encouraging them to take the time to look at what security measures they have in place and check simple things – such as doors and windows are locked – before leaving. It is often the simple measures that are the most effective.”

How to stay safe against burglary

* Lock all doors and windows at night or before going out

* Keep all easily accessible, high value items such as wallets, phones and laptops out of sight

* Install security measures such as cameras and alarms

* Make the house look occupied when you go on holiday

* Join Neighbourhood Watch

* Buy home insurance