Almost 3,000 over-50s have been arrested on suspicion of burglary over the past three and a half years, averaging out at more than two a day, according to recent analysis of UK crime data.
Churchill Home Insurance made Freedom of Information Act requests to regional police forces across the UK last August, of which 84% responded. All figures cover the period from January 2014 to June 2017.
Merseyside Police recorded the highest rate of arrests of older burglars, with 10% of the 3,018 burglars arrested aged over 50. This was followed by Derbyshire Police with 7% of all arrests for burglaries involving older offenders, and Dorset Police at 5%.
In 2016 – the latest year with full 12-month data available – 8,967 people were charged with domestic burglary across the UK, of which 359, or 4%, were over the age of 50. Of those charged, 7,070 were found guilty including 270 over-50s (3.8%).
Martin Scott, head of Churchill Home Insurance – which offers customers a 24/7 burglary response team – says: “This research shows that burglary is a crime that is committed by offenders of all ages, and it appears not all opportunistic thieves are young. In fact, with more experience under their belts, older burglars could present a greater threat than their younger counterparts. It is vital that homeowners remain vigilant and don’t discount an older individual that may be surveilling their property.
“Checking doors and windows to make sure they are secure, keeping valuables out of sight and making the property look occupied, even when it isn’t, are all simple things which will help deter would-be burglars and avoid the emotional and financial trauma of becoming a victim of crime.”