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It's the most dangerous time of the year!

It's the most dangerous time of the year!

4th Dec 2019


In this blog, we’ll look at the increase of theft and anti-social behaviour around the festive period and how to remain vigilant.

Crime around Christmas time

The festive season is the period where the rate of break-ins increases by 20%.

The total number of thefts over that festive period recorded in England and Wales climbed from 5,524 in the financial year 2015 to 2016 to 6,278 in 2016/17.

Analysis of crime statistics provided via Freedom of Information Act requests last December showed that each day of the holidays crooks committed an average of 448 burglaries, 65 robberies and 1082 thefts.

Direct Line Insurance suggest that most criminals use the early evening hours of darkness in order to launch an attack before people get home from work. 

Common crime types

Pickpocketing 

• Be aware of who is around you and how close they get you
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, the use of a credit card is safer and more convenient
• Protect contactless cards from scammers using card readers to take one of payments with the Card Defender Diamond
• Keep valuables out of sight with the use of a phone cable
• Secure backpacks and handbags with a carabiner hook, a physical and visual deterrent 
• Awareness tools such as purse bells inform the owner if a thief attempts to remove an item

Pickpocketing is prevalent during Christmas time as high streets and shopping centres see a dramatic increase of people. 

Burglary

• Home owners should always double check windows and doors are locked 
• Ensure presents are not left under the Christmas tree if they are visible from outside
• Make your home look occupied when you are away, with segment timers or even a simulated TV
• Make sure someone is home to take deliveries, don’t give an opportunist thief the authority to take parcels 
• Light up entry points of your home, once a criminal is aware there is light, they feel as if they are being watched
• Installing CCTV can reduce the risk of being burgled by 90%
• Never leave spare keys in secret hiding places, invest in a key safe for secured access without compromising security

People can become careless with their home security around this time of year, due to busy schedules. Christmas is peak time for burglaries, as criminals are aware houses are full of luxury gifts. 

Cars

•  Make sure all items are concealed when the car is stationary 
• If you have just purchased presents, do not leave them in your car for longer than necessary
• Reverse your car onto the drive when unloading gifts, away from prying eyes 
• Don’t leave your car unattended when unloading items 

Car security around Christmas time is of paramount importance during Christmas shopping and arriving home with gifts. Most car thieves are opportunists, so think twice about loading your car with gifts and then leaving it unattended.

Understanding criminals

As the clocks go back at the end of the month and nights get darker, it is imperative that Brits really consider the importance of home security.

“Most burglars target properties they believe to be unoccupied, meaning encounters are rare.” - Martin Scott, Head of Churchill Home Insurance

Getting secure

Surrey Police have said: “With all the excitement of the Christmas period, people can become a bit lax with their home security – at the very time when they need to be the most careful.” 

It’s a time of year when people are busier than usual, whilst they think they are saving time by omitting a few simple security measures, this increases the risk of being burgled. More homeowners need to understand the importance of security measures to keep them and their belongings safe.