Over 1 in 10 households have been the victims of a burglary in the past 5 years.
Residential burglary is a particularly invasive and traumatic crime that impacts individuals’ feelings about their homes, safety, and security. In fact, of the victims surveyed by Churchill Insurance, 97% said the event had a lasting impact on their life.
Like many security companies, we monitor criminal trends and statistics to ensure we can best advise our clients. Data from 44 police forces in England and Wales found 527 burglaries reported daily in 2022 – a slight increase in 2021 (523).
According to Churchill, the most significant increases in activity were seen in Leicestershire (39%), Staffordshire (30%) & Cleveland (26%). London reported the most total burglaries, with 40,257, followed by Greater Manchester, 16,761, and the West Midlands, 15,844. Lower numbers were reported in Devon/Cornwall (-21%), Merseyside (-16%) and South Wales (-12%).
3,536 of these incidents were aggravated burglaries – meaning the criminal was armed – an increase of 103 compared to 2021. For many of us, the most concerning stat is that 54% of total burglaries were committed while the victims were at home.
Admittedly, this does not make for comforting reading, but the stats do offer some guidance in how we can be more proactive about our security. In 70% of burglaries, the offender entered through an unlocked door. 60% take place in the evening/night time. 47% are spontaneous – crimes of opportunity. 50% of burglaries are committed by someone the victim recognised by sight.
We recommend being proactive with your personal security – and doing the basics well – to make life as difficult as possible for potential intruders.
Always lock doors and windows when unattended, use video doorbells and don’t invite suspicious characters into your home; hide items of value. Install cameras, alarms and lights. Another tip is to avoid leaving items available that could aid criminals (e.g. ladders, hammers and tools). Large hedges and fences might provide you with privacy, but can they also provide intruders with cover? If you’re away, ensure your house isn’t unoccupied – get friends and neighbours to visit, don’t advertise that you’re away (through real-time social media, for example) – and, finally, look out for your neighbours.