Is there a ‘burglary bounce’ on the way? Probably, according to home insurance experts, Hiro. As lockdown restrictions ease and more of us return to work, it’s the perfect opportunity for criminals to make up for lost time. Here’s what you should know.
How did lockdown affect UK burglary rates?
Research compiled by Hiro shows a 20% reduction in home burglaries in 2020 when compared with 2019. Why? It’s simple – the lockdown made it much harder for criminals to break into homes. Hiro’s research also tells us.
- Burglars lost out on £103.2m in stolen gains in 2020.
- Based on prison data, this equates to roughly £12,954 per criminal.
Finally, according to the Office for National Statistics, domestic burglary rates fell in England and Wales by roughly 72% in April and May 2020. This is unsurprising since we were in a strict lockdown during this time.
The problem? As the UK opens up again, so do opportunities for would-be criminals looking to recover their losses.
Will burglaries ‘bounce back’?
Burglary rates could possibly bounce back since there’s a perfect storm on the way.
- Stay at home orders meant we spent more on technology during lockdown in 2020 than we did in 2019. In fact, gaming technology sales rose by 121% in 2020. It’s great news for burglars looking for lucrative targets.
- According to the research gathered by Hiro, there’s already been a 92% increase in holiday bookings. The upshot? More empty houses.
- The UK is on track to ease most lockdown restrictions by June 2021, which means more of us will be back at work.
- As more of us receive the Covid-19 vaccine, we’ll be spending far more time away from our homes, enjoying everything from gyms to weddings.
So, yes, there’s every chance we’ll see domestic burglary rates rise in the next few months. In the words of Hiro’s CEO, Krystian Zajac, “Just as legitimate businesses are looking forward to a post-pandemic sales bounce, criminals will also be looking to recoup their losses.”
There’s good news, though. With just a few simple (and cost-effective) changes in home security, you can safeguard your property.
How do I protect my home from burglary in 2021?
Whatever your budget, it’s possible to make your home a little safer and less attractive to criminals this year.
- Always secure your shed or garage. These might contain items that make it easier for burglars to break into your property, so they’re a target for criminals.
- Install extra locks on your windows and doors, and repair any locks if they’re not working properly.
- Keep valuables like TVs, laptops, car keys and jewellery out of view.
- According to Hiro, 70% of ‘smart tech’ owners haven’t made a burglary claim in the last five years. If you can, invest in some smart security like a monitored doorbell, a WiFi alarm system or automated lights to make it seem like someone’s home.
- Add CCTV to your property, if possible.
Does my home insurance cover burglary?
It can, yes, but it depends on your level of cover, what’s stolen, and whether there’s any property damage.
- Building insurance covers property damage caused by burglars (e.g. broken doors and windows).
- Contents insurance usually covers the cost of replacing some stolen items, but the specifics vary from policy to policy.
It’s crucial that you’re properly insured just in case the worst happens. Check out our home insurance comparison page to get started.
Since a ‘burglary bounce’ looks increasingly likely, it’s never been more important to protect your home and belongings. Ensure you’ve got adequate home insurance in place, and take some simple steps to deter criminals.
Even if you can’t afford smart technology, do what you can to protect your property. Hide valuables from sight, always make sure doors and windows are locked, and don’t leave keys in plain view.
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