Are home burglaries on the rise?

It goes without saying that the majority of homeowners or renters are anxious to ensure their home is not broken into. But are the scary news headlines that we see at times about home burglaries and similar crimes necessarily a fair reflection of the reality?

To give you some peace of mind, let’s talk about whether home burglaries are on the increase as much as it might sometimes seem, along with some ways you can help prevent your home from being burgled.

Let’s look at the statistics

In 2020/21, the number of police recorded burglary offences in England and Wales amounted to 267,931 burglaries. This was actually a significant decline of over 116 thousand compared to 2019/20.

Since 2002/03, there has been a clear trend of declining burglary offences, with 2020/21 recording the fewest burglaries in this time period.

However, the significant drop in burglary offences over the past year may be largely attributable to the multiple coronavirus lockdowns. In fact, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as reported by the BBC, noted an 8% fall in crime as a whole and a 24% fall in home burglary during lockdown.

This is likely to be because people spent more time in their home during this time, which will have deterred many criminals from taking a risk. However, as people are now returning to traditional workplaces and increasingly able to go on holiday abroad, many of us are able to move more freely, thereby potentially leaving our homes vulnerable again.

Furthermore, even if home burglaries are decreasing year by year, 267,931 burglaries is still nothing to ignore, especially if much of the fluctuation in crime rates during the year was potentially due to periods of lockdown.

With this in mind, here are a few ways you can make sure your home stays relatively safe from potential burglars, even as the UK begins to reopen after the pandemic.

  1. Install and maintain your burglar alarm

If you don’t have a burglar alarm already, now is the time to invest. A burglar alarm system can notify you of any attempt at a break in, or notify your neighbours with its loud noise if you are away from home.

You should also arrange for regular burglar alarm servicing to ensure your alarm is working correctly and properly maintained. This way, you can rest assured that if a burglar does strike one day, your home will be optimally protected.

  1. Lock your doors and windows

Always lock your doors and windows, even when you are at home! This prevents burglars having easy access into your property.

  1. Don’t leave valuables on show

If a burglar can see valuables through your window, this might make your property a more attractive target for them. Therefore, don’t leave items such as car keys, laptops, tablets, phones, and cash on show.

This also goes for power cables or chargers for these devices. If a would-be thief can see a charger, for example, then it will seem clear to them that you have the device that goes with it somewhere in the house.

  1. Use lighting as a deterrent

Outdoor and indoor lighting can also be used to deter burglars. When you are out, make your home look occupied by using a timer to control your lights. From the outside, a motion activated light can scare burglars away.

Overall, although home burglaries do not seem to be on the rise in the UK, it is still crucial to make sure you take appropriate action to help prevent burglaries from happening. This is especially important at the moment, as the UK gradually reopens in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can maximise security at your residential property to help stop budding thieves, please don’t hesitate to get in touch directly with the experts at Firstford.