Five ways to protect your property from criminals

26 October 2011

The number of reported burglaries rose by 26% in the week between Halloween and Bonfire night last year, according to new research.

During this week last year, there were 3,742 burglaries reported, compared to a weekly average of 2,995 for the rest of the year. And Bonfire night is the worst day of the year for break-ins, says Aviva.

Over the past 10 years, there has been a whopping 150% rise in ‘malicious' damage claims to homes, including smashed windows and damage to garden property, in the week from 30 October to 5 November. Claims for car damage have also shot up 50% and reports of car theft are up by 20%.

Strathclyde saw the highest number of reported burglaries last year, with a 57% increase on the previous year. Next on the list was Northamptonshire with a 53% rise, and third was South Wales with a 45% rise.

Too good to resist

Rob Townend, property claims director for Aviva, says: "Unfortunately, the combination of darker nights and a mischievous occasion like Halloween or a noisy one like Bonfire Night present too good an opportunity for some criminals to resist. These are real hotspots in the crime calendar when homes and cars can be more at risk than any other time in the year.

"Obviously, theft and malicious damage are covered as standard by your home insurance if the worst does happen, but it's best to take steps to avoid having the worry of being a victim of crime in the first place."

Five tips for protecting your property from criminals

1. Keep your car in the garage and if it's on the road make sure there are no valuables in sight.

2. Move garden ornaments, bikes, and potted plants out of sight.

3. Don't answer the door on Halloween night and if you're heading out leave a light on so your house looks occupied and make sure burglar alarms are activated.

4. Check the locks are working on sheds, greenhouses and garages and keep your windows and doors locked if you're in the garden.

5. Make sure you have adequate insurance to cover any losses should you be unfortunate enough to have your home broken into or damaged. When buying insurance make sure you read all the smallprint to ensure you're fully covered against all eventualities.


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