Lockdown easing led to rise in burglaries
The number of burglaries reported to the police rose as lockdown restrictions eased and people started to leave their homes in larger numbers, according to insurance company Churchill.
The company said that police forces reported a 6.2 per cent increase between the first and second quarters of this year. It means there were 3,600 more burglaries between April and June than between January and March.
Around £169 million may have been stolen during this time.
“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,” said Steven Williams, head of Churchill home insurance.
“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.”
A survey conducted by the insurer found that of the four million people who are planning to return to work after months on furlough or doing their job from home, 69 per cent of those surveyed are worried about being burgled. A quarter told the insurer they were “extremely concerned”.
The surveyors spoke to a little over 2,000 people during a week at the end of July.
Over the last five years, 30 per cent of burglaries happened during the day when the occupiers were out.
Around a fifth of all burglaries happened when people were at work.
Since lockdown restrictions have eased, people are spending more time out and about, catching up with friends and family, some of whom they will not have met for more than a year.
Around 20 per cent of the 2,000 people who Churchill’s researchers spoke to said they are spending more time out of their homes to take advantage of these freedoms.
Around a fifth also said they plan to take a holiday for a week or more this summer.
According to the survey, just 39 per cent of people said that they spent more time at home than normal during the pandemic.