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Brits burgled 700 times each day despite staying in

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New research from Churchill Home Insurance reveals that last year saw more than 280,000 burglaries reported to police forces across the UK – an average of 768 burglaries every day.

There were an estimated 100,000 fewer burglaries in 2020 than in 2019 due to so many people at home because of the pandemic, a fall of 27 per cent. Despite this fall in burglaries, Churchill calculates a total of £926 million in home insurance claims were made throughout the year – an average of £2.5 million worth of possessions stolen every day.

To monitor burglary rates and attitudes towards burglary amongst households across the country, Churchill Home Insurance is launching its 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 track changes in how burglary is affecting the UK, highlighting differences in both criminal and homeowner behaviours to help make households across the UK safer.

While the number of burglaries fell last year, it remains a major concern for households, with 16 million adults across the UK (31 per cent) describing themselves as worried about their property being burgled3.

However, people also believe that the biggest contributing factors to burglary are largely avoidable. More than 60 per cent believe leaving doors and windows open or unlocked is a leading factor to a break in (61per cent), closely followed keeping expensive items visible through windows or doors (53 per cent).

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Despite being fearful of burglary, one in six (18 per cent), some nine million people, admit that their property isn’t well-protected against burglary, with two thirds of these (six 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 per cent) believe that they are well-protected against break ins, showing that with the right protection also comes peace of mind for most. However, 1.6 million people admitted they were neither worried by nor protected against burglary.

Worried about the threat of burglaryNot worried by the threat of burglaryTotal
Poorly protected against burglary6.0 million
(11 per cent)
1.6million
(three per cent)
7.6 million
(14 per cent)
Well-protected against burglary4.2 million
(eight per cent)
8.4 million
(16 per cent)
12.7 million
(24 per cent)
Total10.2 million
(19 per cent)
10.1 million
(19 per cent)
20.3 million
(39 per cent)

Source: Churchill Home Insurance 2021

When asked about the security measures in their own home, those who fear burglary and don’t believe they are well-protected appear to be safer than they thought, with a greater proportion (94 per cent) having some form of security measures in place than those who are not worried but feel they are well-protected (85 per cent). The most common safety features included double locks, automatic light sensors, door chains and burglar alarms.

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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.”

Churchill has provided the following tips to help people make their homes as safe as possible against the threat of burglary:

  • Do the basics well: It may sound simple, but sometimes an unlocked door or open window can be the only invitation a burglar needs to break into a home. Always make sure you lock all doors and windows at night or before going out, and ensure that all easily accessible, high value items such as wallets, phones and laptops are kept out of sight
  • Make life hard for burglars: As well as installing security measures like cameras and alarms, also consider other items that may be useful for breaking and entering, such as ladders or hammers. Large hedges, fences or trees can also give burglars the cover they need to carry out their actions undetected.
  • Take steps when you go away: Before you go on holiday, cancel any papers or milk you might have delivered and install timers which switch lights or radios on automatically. This will make it harder for potential burglars to identify that a house is unoccupied.
  • Look out for your neighboursNeighbourhood Watch schemes operate around the UK and anyone can get involved. They are set up to allow local people to help the police cut crime and are led by volunteer co-ordinators who get everyone together to discuss how they can make their area a safer place to live.
  • Prepare for the worst, hope for the best: Sometimes being the victim of a burglary can be attributed to nothing but bad luck. If the worst does happen, knowing that you have an up-to-date, comprehensive home insurance policy that will replace any items stolen or damaged in a burglary can help put your mind at rest.

(Lead image: Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com)


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