According to the Office of National Statistics there is a successful burglary every 76 seconds, with an average cost to homeowners of more than £2,000 per incident. There is some good news. Domestic burglary rates have been falling in England and Wales since 1995, however there are significant seasonal variations and postcode hotspots for crime.
Better property security, homeowner and neighbour vigilance and the lower value of consumer goods are all thought to be contributing factors to reducing burglary rates.
The highest reported number of home break-ins each year is in the IG4 postcode (parts of Ilford, East London).
The Moneysupermarket.com survey of five years of insurance quotes also found that London postcodes made up 16 of the top 20, which also included areas in Manchester and Cambridge.
Dulwich, which has previously topped the table, has fallen down the rankings following a dramatic decline in home break-ins.
Keep your property safe throughout the year
It is thought that many burglaries are opportunistic, so it is important for homeowners to continue to provide deterrents and make their property unattractive to potential burglars. Seasonal variations in crime statistics show that there is a spike in home theft over Christmas. This is not surprising as it is when many houses are left empty for the holiday period, and of course there are often more brand new, high value goods. Here are some tips for protecting your home from burglars, all year round.
Good security – Intruder alarms and CCTV are good options for security in higher crime areas. As a minimum you should ensure all outside doors and windows have security locks. Additional options include motion sensor lights outside your house and lights on a timer to make it appear that you house is not empty when you are away. Good security features will often reduce your insurance premium.
Beware of what you say – Don’t openly share with people, for example on social media, details of when you will be away. If an opportunistic burglar hears that your property will be empty, it presents a perfect chance to break in uninterrupted.
Neighbourhood Watch – Taking part in a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, or even an informal community arrangement, can help prevent crime in your area. You could ask a neighbour to watch your house while you are away, even turning lights on and off or drawing curtains to deter burglars.
Manage your insurance – In the event that the worst happens, it is important to have sufficient insurance to cover your losses. The best way to make sure you are not under or over insured is to work with a trusted broker.
They will be able to ask you the right questions and give you tips to adequately calculate your contents and buildings values. If you don’t provide your insurance company with a proper valuation, if you do need to claim you will likely only receive a percentage of the true cost to replace your valuables.
To make sure you and your home are fully covered, speak to one of our brokers who can help you to understand what level of cover is best for you.