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UK suffered 768 burglaries each day last year – despite lockdown

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

Despite people being stuck in their homes for most of the year, 2020 saw more than 280,000 burglaries reported to police forces across the UK.

The figures works out to an average of 768 burglaries every day, with nearly £1bn worth of valuables claimed for following burglaries in 2020 alone.

The statistics come from Churchill Home Insurance which found there were an estimated 100,000 fewer burglaries in 2020 than in 2019 due to so many people at home because of the pandemic.

But despite this 27% fall in burglaries, Churchill calculates a total of £926m in home insurance claims were made throughout the year – an average of £2.5m worth of possessions stolen every day.

Churchill is launching the Churchill Burglary Barometer, a quarterly tracker investigating how rates of burglary and perceptions of risk change. The new barometer will monitor police and claims data, along with consumer attitudes and opinions to burglary.

The insurer found that while the number of burglaries fell last year, it remains a major concern for households, with 16 million adults across the UK (31%) describing themselves as ‘worried’ about their property being burgled.

However, people also believe that the biggest contributing factors to burglary are largely avoidable. More than 60% believe leaving doors and windows open or unlocked is a leading factor to a break in, closely followed by keeping expensive items visible through windows or doors (53%).

Despite being fearful of burglary, one in six (18%), admitted that their property isn’t well-protected against burglary, with two thirds of these (6 million) saying they’re concerned their home will be burgled.

Of the 17.4 million people who say they aren’t worried about burglary, half (49%) believe that they are well-protected against break ins, showing that with the right protection also comes peace of mind for many.

Steven Williams, head of Churchill home insurance, said: “With lockdown restrictions easing we are all going to be out of our homes more often from now on. As we’ve seen from the latest data, burglary rates are down from last year but still remain high considering the amount of time we have all been spending at home.

“With more than six million Britons admitting to living in fear of burglary while not having fully protected themselves, we’re launching our Burglary Barometer to raise awareness of the crime, the real risk levels and the easy steps people can take to help prevent a break-in.”